Too much Fiesta for just one blog post. Here is some coverage from Sunday.
click on photos to see larger
The Piedmont-based Occoneechee Council of Boy Scouts of America has made it a priority to recruit more Latinos into scouting. To that end, "Scoutreach" coordinators Steve Wilson (pictured, above right), Ricardo Perez and Frank Castillo were on hand at La Fiesta to answer questions from parents and potential scouts. If you would like to volunteer, or would like to have a presentation on scouting at your next group/organization event, contact Ricardo Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-990-2991, Steve Wilson at email@example.com or 919-606-0871, or Frank Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-621-3434.
As usual, La Fiesta was full of good things to eat and drink (empanadas, pupusas, tacos, and catering by places like Mami Nora's and Carmen's), and the Jim Graham Building took on a bazaar-like atmosphere full of vendors, cultural and outreach booths, artist galleries, youth activities and the Cafe Teatro stage. This is the second year for this new inside/outside space configuration, and I think it works well, offering shelter from the elements and less sprawl. There was a decent crowd watching soccer in the Dorton Arena, which is an interesting architectural space (for some reason, I'd never been inside it before beyond the lobby).
At the outside Main Stage, Sarengue got good reviews although few people were dancing in the early afternoon heat. Sarengue is from Fayetteville; some of their members are retired military. As the name suggests, their sound balances Puerto Rican and Dominican influences. Here's a video of them doing a Roberto Roena classic, "Mi Desengaño":
I spoke with guiro player Abel (handily, they all had their names embroidered on their band shirts) and he said he's rehearsing his own Dominican bachata band. Soon they are getting ready to play out under the name Bachata 01.
Sarengue & friends, please stay in touch!
Honduran headliners Kazzabe had a tropical mix of soca, reggae, punta, salsa...stage show enhanced by dancer "La Gata." Even some El Pueblo volunteers got on stage to demonstrate their punta moves, an example of the Caribbean's rich dance culture.
Here's Kazzabe performing, as "La Gata" demonstrates the value of a properly chosen white accessory:
For me, the best part of La Fiesta is seeing familiar folks and meeting new ones who are working toward common goals of cultural understanding here in the Triangle. I see many of the same volunteers working hard behind the scenes year after year. I couldn't document all the bands, dancers, artists and participants, but it was a rich field full of old friends and new discoveries.
For more information on El Pueblo's year round advocacy programs, visit their website, www.elpueblo.org.