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Ghana’s culture is in huge part preserved by its traditional leaders who still hold power and influence over both state and local affairs. We visited not one, not two but three palaces from the Paramount Chief of cape Coast, to the paramound chief of Assin Kushea where the contestants spent the night and finally to the palace of his royal highness Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II the king of the largest kingdom in Africa, the Ashanti Empire which spreads across several west African states.

Ghana has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with a particularly scenic location in Ada Foa, where the Volta river meets the Atlantic ocean. To welcome the contestants to Ghana, we were hosted on a private island with the local diplomatic core for some fun in the sun, a photo shoot and a beach clean up to bring awareness to the plastic waste that is marring Ghana’s beaches. The day ended with a beautiful bonfire and was a great way to kick off Heritage Week 2019; Year of Return Ghana.

Ghana supply’s 60% of the worlds cocoa so it was only fitting that we visit a cocoa farm while in Ghana. The visit to the @ohenecocoa_gh gave us proof that chocolate is actually a vegetable and should be part of a healthy diet… It does grow on trees after allūüėä. Each cocoa tree produces approximately 2500 cocoa beans and it takes about 400 beans to make a pound of chocolate. And it’s not just used to make our favorite sweet treats but chocolate can also be used in cosmetic products, soft drinks, animal feed and alcohol. The Queen’s can now say they’ve tasted fresh raw chocolate straight from the tree! #worldchocolateday‚Äč #worldchocolateday2020‚Äč .

A big part of Ghana’s heritage is slavery. Ghana is where the very first slave ship sailed from Jamestown Ghana to Jamestown Virginia in the United states. The MHG Queens visited Cape coast and Elmina Castles and got to experience first hand the terrible conditions that slaves waiting to shipped to the Americas where kept under. Its a sad part of our joint world heritage and the contestants got a better understanding of the origins of movements like #BlackLivesMatter‚Äč that seek equality as it all started over 500 years ago with slavery.

From visiting the slave castles in Ghana, to spending a night in a royal palace, to visiting a cocoa farm and bring guests alongside the President of Ghana Nana Akufo Ado at the Year of Return jamestown to Jamestown event; Heritage week Ghana was a great experience of the Heritage and culture of Ghana during the year of return. MHG culture queen’s come from different backgrounds and different cultures from around the world, spend 10 days together exploring a new culture and through this experience, they demonstrate that we CAN build bridges of friendship and collaboration despite our differences.