Where Black Americans Seek Refuge from Racism

Scores of Black Americans have flocked to Tulum to take a mental break after a year of so much grief.
Illustration by Arielle Duhaime-Ross

All the posts about Tulum on social media this past year really got our attention: Everyone seemed to be living it up in the small Mexican fishing town south of Cancun. Some were flocking there to have a good time, but others were seeking something much deeper: They wanted to escape racism, find like-minded people, take a mental respite after a year of so much grief.

“Tulum popped up on Airbnb. [I’d] never heard of Tulum, didn't know Tulum existed,” said Kendrick Little, a photographer. “So I booked a stay here for a whole month. Then the George Floyd thing happened in the States. I had no desire to leave this tranquility of Mexico to go back voluntarily to madness.”


Another traveler, Faris Gebril, had a similar feeling. “I'm coming to Tulum because America is a cult, and I want to be anywhere else,” he said.

VICE producer Adizah Eagan went to Mexico to experience the vibes of Tulum for herself—and dig into why Black people have been seeking refuge in this beachy bohemian getaway. 


Racism in the U.S. Prompts a Growing Community of Thriving Black Expats in Mexico

Mexico Removes Cops From Popular Tourist Destination Tulum During a Surge in Violence

An influx of eco-travelers, influencers, and tourists is destroying the natural beauty that brought them to Tulum in the first place. 


Special thanks to James T. Green, Annie Aviles, and Stephanie Kariuki for editorial support.

VICE News Reports is produced by Jesse Alejandro Cottrell, Sophie Kazis (Kay-ziss), Jen Kinney, Janice Llamoca (Ya-Mo-Ka), Julia Nutter, and Sayre Quevedo. Our senior producers are Ashley Cleek and Adizah Eghan. Our associate producers are Sam Eagan and Adreanna Rodriguez. Sound design and music composition by Steve Bone, Pran Bandi and Kyle Murdock. Our intern is Leily Rezvani.

Our executive producer and VP of Vice Audio is Kate Osborn. Janet Lee is Senior Production Manager for VICE Audio. Production coordination by Steph Brown. 

Fact-checking by Nicole Pasulka. 

Theme music by Steve Bone.