Latin America’s First Black Vice President Is of Jamaican Descent

Costa Rica has made history by electing its first black Vice President. Epsy Alehandra Campbell Barr, whose grandmother migrated to Costa Rica from Jamaica with her husband, is also the first black Vice President to be elected in all of the American continent and the first woman of African descent to take on the role of President if the current occupant of that office leaves the country. In an interview with, the new Vice President said she was taking on a “big responsibility.” Named after her paternal grandmother, Campbell is proud of her Jamaican roots and has served as the head of the Center for Women of African Descent, the Alliance of Leaders of African Descent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Black Parliament of the Americas. She is active in her community and was a member of the nation’s legislature between 2002 and 2006 before running for the Vice Presidential position in 2006.

Epsy Campbell Costa Rica Vice President
Epsy Campbell, Costa Rican Vice President

One of Campbell’s top priorities is to serve the women of Costa Rica. Campbell conducted a grassroots campaign and traveled around Costa Rica to take her message about anti-corruption and accountability personally to the voters. While she is the first black woman to serve in her new role, she follows the path of other important women who served Costa Rica, including Thelma Curling, the first Afro-Costa Rican legislator, who served between 1982 and 1986.

Photo Source: Epsy Alehandra Campbell Barr Facebook