Yanga, Veracruz

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Municipality and town
Yanga is located in Mexico
Location in Mexico
Coordinates: 18°50′N 96°48′W / 18.833°N 96.800°W / 18.833; -96.800Coordinates: 18°50′N 96°48′W / 18.833°N 96.800°W / 18.833; -96.800
Country  Mexico
State Veracruz
 • Total 102.82 km2 (39.70 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 • Total 15,547
Time zone Central Standard Time (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)

Yanga is a municipality located in the southern area of the State of Veracruz, Mexico, about 80 km from the state capital of Xalapa. The name, coming from an African language, means "príncipe". Yanga, the cimarron leader after whom it is named, was an enslaved African of the Yang-Bara tribe from around present-day Guinea. Yanga led a successful slave rebellion against the Spanish colonial authorities in 1609, and demanded a series of concessions from the viceregal authorities in order to lay down his weapons. One of these concessions, utterly unheard of at the time, was the establishment of a free town of former black slaves just a few kilometers from the city of Cordoba, Veracruz. Formerly known as San Lorenzo de los Negros or San Lorenzo de Cerralvo, the town was named after Juan Laurencio, the Jesuit friar who accompanied the expedition sent by the viceroy to crush the rebels. After a series of bloody skirmishers in which the Spaniards lost more men than the authorities were comfortable with, an agreement was reached and the town of San Lorenzo won its "small independence". The black inhabitants of San Lorenzo proclaimed their loyalty to the Church and the King of Spain, but refused to pay tribute to the Spanish government. They also agreed to capture runaway slaves and return them to their masters in return for a fee.

In 1932, the town of San Lorenzo was renamed in honor of the leader of the rebellion.


The municipality of Yanga is bordered to the east by Cuitláhuac, to the north-east by Atoyac and to the south-east by Omealca.[1]


It produces principally maize, beans, sugarcane, coffee and mango.


Every February, a festival is held to celebrate Virgen de Candelaria, the patron of the town, and every December there is a festival held in honour of the Virgin of Guadalupe. A festivity for San Lorenzo, the saint of the town, takes place each August. Every year in mid-August, a carnival is held to celebrate the African former slave Gaspar Yanga. The celebration is to commemorate his defeat of the Spanish and creation of a free village for his slaves around the year 1570, claimed to be the first free city in the Americas. The 400th anniversary carnival was held in August 2009, four centuries after the town's recapture by the Spanish (though many slaves escaped).


The climate in Yanga is warm and humid, with an average temperature of 18°C and rains mainly in the summer and fall.



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