Quince Duncan


Quince Duncan (born 1940) is considered Costa Rica's first Afro-Caribbean writer in the Spanish language.


  • My first birth certificate says that I had been born in Jamaica—that I was Jamaican by birth. I find it humorous when I hear preachers saying, ‘You have to be born again,’ because I was born twice—once in Costa Rica and once in Jamaica on the same day at the same hour.
  • Nevertheless, the definite impulse towards literature came from Miss Rob. She was the matron of the village, and ever since I was a child she told me that I would go far. It occurred to her to give me a push and she made me read books of short stories. The demands were very simple: ‘Read a story and when you pass by here, tell it to me.
  • Once of the outstanding take-aways in some of these workshops is that many Ticos do not recognize what racism actually is. They have seen the public markers of racism in South African Apartheid or the Jim Crow Laws of the Southern United States. Signs that separated races were clearly racist. Since these public signposts were not used in Costa Rica, people automatically assumed there was no racism here and so, for instance, they cannot understand why “Cocori” is an offensive book to the Afro-Costa Rican population. These workshops opened up these types of radical, honest discussions.

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