Environment and space are constitutive of human experience. This paper explores how Afro-Latin Americans established important cultural relationships with their environments and transformed abstract spaces into meaningful places in ways that profoundly influenced other dimensions of their lives, and those around them. It argues, first, that African perceptions of Neotropical nature were anchored within beliefs and practices that people brought with them from Africa. Second, it examines the importance of subsistence agriculture and the Columbian Exchange within the larger context of violent social disruption and forced migration. A final section considers the politics and historical geography of land and cultural rights in Afro-Latin America today.