With our weekends free, we have been able to explore a great deal of Ghana’s beauty.  One of our favorite places to visit is Cape Coast, which is a historic fishing town with beautiful beaches.  We were able to stay right on the beach in an eclectic brightly colored bamboo treehouse that was nestled in the shadows of Cape Coast Castle. Contrasting the beautiful view of the ocean crashing over the rocks, is the dark history of the transatlantic slave trade. Cape Coast Castle was one of about forty “slave castles” built on the Gold Coast of West Africa. At any one time, around 1,000 men and 500 women were kept here crammed into dungeons with very little ventilation or light where they would remain for 6 to 12 weeks as they waited to be boarded onto a ship with equally dehumanizing conditions. If ever anyone denies the horrors of slavery, I hope they would have the chance to view this haunting castle.  It was absolutely sobering to see what human beings are capable of doing to one another and to see where individuals with hopes and dreams and loved ones stood as they were stripped of their human rights and treated worse than animals. May we become more aware of the past and its lasting effects and may we continue to fight for those who are being stripped of their humanity still. As our guide said, “Slavery still exists, but in the name of peace we ignore it.”

Cape Coast Castle at sunrise