Palenque de San Basilio is a palenque village and corregimiento in the Municipality of Mahates, Bolivar in northern Colombia. UNESCO: "Palenque de San Basilio was one of the walled communities called palenques, which were founded by escaped slaves as a refuge in the seventeenth century. Of the many palenques .... only San Basilio has survived until the present day. It developed into a unique cultural space" encompassing language, "social, medical and religious practices as well as musical and oral traditions, many of which have African roots. The social organization of the community is based on family networks and age groups called ma kuagro. The kuagro membership comes with a set of rights and duties towards other group members and entails strong internal solidarity". The Spanish Crown issued a Royal Decree in 1691, guaranteeing freedom to the Palenque de San Basilio Africans if they stopped welcoming new escapees.