La Salle graduate travels Latin America showcasing its diversity

October 20, 2023

Kim Haas, M.A. ’96, is utilizing her La Salle education as she hosts the PBS travel series, Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas.

Kim Haas, M.A. ’96

Kim Haas, M.A. ’96, is continuing her journey across South America with a second season of her PBS travel series, Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas, focused on Colombia.  

Haas, who launched the series in 2020 with a spotlight on Costa Rica, came up with the idea for the program because she saw a need for a series that celebrated the historical and cultural contributions of Africans to Latin American countries.  

She’s utilizing her research on the connections between Afro-Latino culture and identity that began during her time as an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh and continued at La Salle University, where she earned her master’s in bilingual and bicultural studies. 

Being able to continue the show past season one was always the goal for Haas who came up with this idea more than a decade ago. Putting a spotlight on the African influence in South America is important for the show host and producer who said it’s rare for viewers to see people who look like her on Spanish language television. 

“We really need to celebrate and honor Afro-Latinos for their centuries of achievements in Latin America” she said.  

The stars aligned for Haas and her team to spotlight Colombia next. Viewers will have the opportunity to see various parts of the country including the cities of Cali and Buenaventura, along with San Cipriano, a small town and nature preserve.  

Haas likes to create a multidimensional show focused on the people. The series will educate viewers on cuisine, music, arts, environment, and more.  

“I want people to see the value, the humanity, and the beauty in the people,” she said.  

The new season of Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas debuted across the country earlier this month and will continue airing on PBS and its lifestyle and travel channel, Create TV.  Now, Haas looks ahead to what’s next.  

“We have so much of Latin America left,” she said.  

Haas said she hopes to begin filming a third season in November, possibly in Brazil.    

Haas believes travel opens people’s eyes to how similar we all are. It reminds her of her time at 20th and Olney where she was encouraged to step outside of the box and take the path less traveled.  

“At La Salle it was about digging deeper,” she said.     

She hopes viewers are inspired by the show to expand their travel horizons and possibly visit a place they would never considered. Supporting the residents of these countries through business, visiting, and awareness is another key aspect. 

—Meg Ryan