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The Birth of The Afro Panamanian Cultural Guidebook

by Santiago Aguilar 08 Jan 2024 0 Comments
The Birth of The Afro Panamanian Cultural Guidebook



Black Expats in Panama® (BEIP) was founded by CEO, Charlotte Van Horn in May 2019. BEIP was initially a Facebook group created because Charlotte found no other Black Expat Groups representing Panama.  The group grew slowly to approximately 200 members between May 2019 and June 2020. The Pandemic, George Floyd, “Karen in the Park” and the weight of the hostile political climate in the US collided and more Black people started to seriously consider living outside of the country. A new version of “Blaxit” emerged.  Charlotte is now affectionately referred to as "Harriet" by many of her followers and Black expats. She and her Partners at ITA Global (ITA), an award-winning Destination Management Company, have done an amazing job assisting primarily African Americans wishing to relocate to Panama.  

Now, BEIP is the largest Black expat community in Panama connecting expats and assisting them on their relocation journey. The BEIP Cultural Relocation Tour (currently offered 9 months of the year) showcases living options in and around Panama City and shares the Afro Panamanian culture/history and authentic cuisine.  BEIP has been honored by leaders of the Afro-Panamanian community for its contributions to local businesses, individuals and organizations.

ITA GLOBAL, with exceptional precision and excellence, oversees all logistics for BEIP Relocation Tours. The collaboration between BEIP and ITA GLOBAL expanded with the creation of Black Expats Worldwide (BEW), which conducts tours connecting Black individuals globally and highlighting relocation possibilities. In this remarkable book, enriched with cultural and historical significance, we express gratitude to the ITA GLOBAL DESIGN TEAM and Design Director Michael Aviles for crafting the stunning artwork that accentuates the vibrant cultural history of Panama.. 

BEIP is often approached with amazing opportunities to collaborate with others to bring quality products and services to their now several thousand members. As a researcher, author, and educator, I'm proud to partner with BEIP on this project.

BEIP and its Partners are thrilled to introduce the AFRO PANAMANIAN CULTURAL GUIDEBOOK to not only its Clients/Members, but to the WORLD! They have learned so much about the rich Afro Panamanian Culture and want to share it with as many people as possible.  


Jameelah Muhammad is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She attended Iowa State University for undergraduate school and later won a full scholarship from the Mexican government to attend la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) to study Hispanic Linguistics, where she received my Master’s degree. The title of Jameelah’s master’s thesis was La influencia africana sobre el habla del México Colonial (The African Influence on the Speech of Colonial Mexico). Her interests in world cultures led her to travel to twenty-two countries (Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, France, South Korea, Vietnam, and Morocco, among others) and cross-cultural homestays in Indonesia, Cuba, and Guatemala. She has lived as an expat in three countries (Spain, Mexico, and Japan). 

As an advocate for second language learning, Jameelah has been invited by the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, DC, to speak to US parents moving overseas about raising their children bilingually. She has appeared in Child Magazine (November 2005) and published several books, including Spanish for Expats (2022) and Two Languages Too Cool (2020). In addition, Jameelah is fascinated with the African presence in Latin America. For over a decade, she has been researching Afro-Latino history and culture. In 1995, Jameelah contributed to the book, No Longer Invisible, where she wrote a piece on Afro-Mexicans. All of these titles are available on Throughout her career as an independent researcher, she has delivered presentations on race and racism in Latin America in the Washington, DC area and Barlovento, Venezuela. 

Jameelah has had teaching careers with the District of Columbia Public Schools and, most recently, the Department of Defense, where she taught Spanish for 14 years in Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan. She is the proud parent of two multilingual third-culture kids (Spanish, French, and rudimentary Japanese).



Get your Afro Panamanian Cultural Guidebook today and embark on a journey like no other!


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