Carnaval del Sol - Latin American Week



Hola Amigos!

Last week we talked about dances around Latin America and the history behind Flamenco and Tango in particular. This week we’re talking about music.

As we all know, Latin music is full of rhythm, sensuality and character. We have different types of music like “Boléros” and “Salsa” as well as “Festejo” and “Lambada”. They are all from different parts of Latin America, and have no doubt, they will have you dancing, in no time!

This time, let’s focus on Cuba. This country in the Caribbean has a varied amount of music; singers ranging from the amazing and well known Celia Cruz to the famous compilation of Cuban musicians making up Buena Vista Social Club. Also, for all you #Daleisthewayoflife fans, yes Pitbull is also in the notorious Cuban singers list!

Cubans have an enormous amount of talent in their hands. There is a whole lot of history making up their beautiful music and whats interesting is, that a big part of it comes from a gathering of cultures, including African, European and Spanish.

It’s amazing what diversity does to a country! Not only making it a more joyful place but also raising talent and music to its highest point!

Have a good week everyone!

Maria Fe Velasquez





Apr 24, 2017

Flamenco, Tango and Wine

Hola Amigos!,

Dancing is an expression of our emotions, it can show happiness and calmness, joy and passion and surprisingly enough sadness as well.

Us Latino’s, are known to have rhythm running through our veins. From Luis Miguel’s “Cuando Calienta el Sol” to ChiChi Peralta’s “Procura”, we’ve heard and danced it all. Doesn’t matter where we are, what we are doing, if we are in the middle of the road, it doesn’t matter! As soon as “Suavemente” comes up on our playlist, our inner Drake comes out, and sooner, rather than later you realize you’re in the condiment aisle at the supermarket and your using the salt and pepper as shakers…

Our traditional dances hold a lot of joy to them, but most importantly, they hold history and culture.

Flamenco is a dance estimated to be 200 years’ old. It is known to be a form of art, made up by the distinct and different cultures present in Andalucía, especially the Romanian population and Spanish culture. Flamenco is composed by “cante”, which is singing, “toque” the playing of the guitar, “baile”, dance, “jaleo”, known as the vocalizations used during the performances, “palmas”, handclapping and finally “pitos” which is the finger snapping. This is a beautiful dance that contributes to Spain’s history, culture and traditions.

In Argentina and Uruguay, we have Tango, a passionate and sensual dance originally from Rio de Plata. There are different types of tango that exist; Tango Vals, Tango Liso etc. It is said to have been created around the 1880s and was known to be a type of fusion of African and European culture.

These are only two examples of the varied number of dances in Latin culture.

On July 5th 2017 at the Roundhouse Community Centre, there will be a “Flamenco, Tango and Wine” Night. Be sure to come celebrate and dance with us then!!

Maria Fe Velasquez

Apr 12, 2017

Latin American Food

Hola Amigos!,

This week we’re talking about food! YES! Amazing, delicious and good for the soul, food!

It’s amazing how popular gastronomy has grown to be. We have food channels, cooking competitions and shows, that not only demonstrate the endless of options we can eat, but also the fantastic approach chefs try, by using every component of their dishes in order to produce a beautiful canvas.

Nowadays, we’re constantly on the lookout for new restaurants and secret little hubs that will grasp our appetite and leave us wanting for more.

Nevertheless, we do have a problem. There is this idea that Latin American food is only margaritas, nachos and guacamole.

Now, don’t get me wrong #guacamoleislife and nachos are amazing BUT, Latin America is so much more than that.

We have so much history and culture that go into out dishes! An example of this is, “Pachamanca”, the food of the Incas. The word comes from Quechua, “pacha”, meaning earth and “manka” meaning pot. This is a Peruvian dish consisting of using the earth as a hot oven.

This dish existed since the beginning of the Inca Empire and the Inca’s used food in important religious ceremonies. Something to keep in mind is that “Pachamama” is the name given to mother earth and it represents fertility and life. By cooking under the earth, this represents the interaction between “mother” which is the earth, and “son” which is the produce. This type of cooking is known in other Latin American countries like Ecuador. In Chile and Argentina, on the other hand, its known as “Curanto”.

If you’re more of a sweet tooth, then you’ll enjoy Guatemala’s traditional desserts. In the 1500s the use of cane sugar become popular in Guatemala. These sweets were mainly made by Capuchin Nuns in the Convent of Santa Clara in Antigua, just 40 min from the capital city. They would make the candies behind the church walls and sell them to the people in the town. The would use their revolving doors as they were not allowed to be seen inside or even outside of the convent by anyone. Candies like “Canillas de Leche”(milk legs), “Colochos de Guayaba” (guava curls), “Huevos Chimbo” (candied eggs) are some of the many popular ones.

Maria Fe Velasquez

Mar 29, 2017

What is a more colourful, exciting and musical place to go to, than a festival?!

Hola Amigos!,

What is a more colourful, exciting and musical place to go to, than a festival?! Festivals around the world are amazing events that allow people to come together from different places and enjoy a day or even a week of multiculturalism.

Doesn’t matter where you’re from, how old you are or what you believe in; a festival will always welcome you in.

During the first months of the year, countries celebrate different events; Brazil’s famous “Carnival di Rio” goes from the 24 th to the 28 th of February! Amazing dancers, rhythmical Samba and vibrant costumes parade at the Sambodromo and around the streets of Rio.

Nevertheless, the carnival isn’t only in Rio. Many cities around Brazil, such as Florianopolis, Ouro Prieto and Recife are some of the many filled with music and one of a kind performance’s, it never disappoints!

Equally as impressive is the well-known Carnaval de Veracruz in Mexico. It takes place halfway through February for a week and is famous for not only the food but the parades, concerts and performances! It’s an incredible experience that leaves you dancing all the way till the end of the festival. These are just a few examples of up-beat carnivals. And what better than to live in Vancouver, that hosts amazing carnivals and festivals, filled with such a variety of cultures that come together to form a beautiful city like this one!

Maria Fe Velasquez

Mar 16, 2017
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