From Wikipedia:

A Maroon (from the word marronage or cimarrón) was a runaway slave in the West Indies, Central America, or South America. The jungles around the Caribbean Sea offered food, shelter, and isolation for the escaped slaves. There, the Maroons created their own communities which survived for centuries.

The term Maroon was generalized to include any slave or group of slaves that had rebelled or escaped from their owners.

Individual groups of Maroons often joined with the local indigenous tribes. Characteristics of the various cultural groups differ widely because of differences in history, geography, African nationality, and the culture of indigenous people throughout the Western hemisphere. Maroon populations are found north from the Amazon river Basin to the American states of Florida and North Carolina. Maroons played an important role in the histories of Brazil, Suriname, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica. Maroon settlements often possessed a clannish, outsider identity.

Slaves began running away into the jungle as soon as slavery was introduced to the Americas. Indigenous American Indian tribes provided a new home and community to those separated from their own tribes in Africa. Maroons were an example of successful resistance to slavery.

Maroon villages were sometimes called palenques or quilombos. The palenqueros developed a Creole language by mixing Spanish and their African languages and customs. One Maroon Creole language in Suriname is Saramaccan. One African tradition that some Maroons withheld is the Maroon ceremony for healing. They use medical herbs along with a special rhythm, with drums and dance, when the herbs were administered to a sick person. One of the most well-known quilombos was a Brazilian settlement called Palmares which, at the height of its flourishing, had a population of over 30,000 free men, women and children.

Maroons survived by growing vegetables and hunting. They also raided plantations, destroying cane fields, and by stealing food, livestock, and female slaves. Later, the governor signed a treaty promising the Maroons 2500 acres (10 km²) in two locations, because they presented a threat to the British. Also, Maroons kept their freedom by agreeing to capture runaway slaves. They were paid two dollars for each slave returned.

In Jamaica, Maroons intermarried with Arawak and Miskito people from Central America. Jamaican Maroons fought against slavery and for Jamaican Independence from the British. A famous Maroon rebel was Granny Nanny. She is the only female listed among Jamaican national heroes. Nanny was leader of the Jamaican Maroons in the 18th century. The Jamaican community has immortalized her in songs and legends. She was particularly important in the First Maroon War in the early 1700s. Granny Nanny was also known for her exceptional leadership skills, for example, she planned guerrilla warfare that confused the British.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Maroon communities gradually disappeared as forests were razed to make way for the expansion of plantations. The villages have disappeared fastest in the Caribbean islands and some parts of Central America. Some South American nations, such as Guyana and Suriname, still have large Maroon populations in the forest. Recently, some Maroons have moved to cities and towns as urbanization becomes inevitable. Today, the Maroons are a multi-racial people with a unique history in the Western Hemisphere