With the elder leader of the band

What a fantastic time I had last night with lots of locals and fellow travelers, first at Troja, one of the local clubs. The whole area, in fact, is a wild party zone during carnival. Then we left, about 50 of us, gathering in a neighborhood where there was a block party with live musical performances, including this delightful band made up of descendants of runway slaves who live and thrive in a village their ancestors founded just outside of Cartagena. They speak a unique dialect, a blend of West African languages and Spanish that has survived for centuries. Everything about their modern lives is African! I will be visiting this village soon, known as San Basilio de San Palenque.

After their performance, I went back stage to meet the band members, including the lead singer and village elder. They were very happy that I took the time to come back stage and were even more excited that I was coming to their village. I hope to meet them there again. Enjoy.


By the way, I have met some truly fantastic people during carnival. They are from near and far, but the locals are the ones who have truly made my visit fun. As carnival wanes, I present you with some images.

Double vision of loveliness: Vanessa and Ileana of Barranquilla, Colombia

The Queen of Carnival 2011 joins the band on stage

The crowd at Carnavalada - it's one heck of a block party!





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