Alexandra Chavarriaga is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in La Guajira, Colombia.
My first Independence Day celebration in Colombia as a Colombian-American was on July 20th, 2017. I’ve performed at two Colombian Independence Day events in San Diego, California in the past with the dance group Algarabia Colombiana, along with other gatherings that occurred when my family lived in Texas and Michigan.
No matter the occasion, but especially for this one, we Colombians love to celebrate with our dance, music, and culture.
This celebration was also extra special because of the group of students I worked with, comprised mostly of 7th graders. I was given the task of working with them by two 7th grade teachers who wanted to encourage their students to perform cultural dance.
Little did I know that after almost 8 months of dwindling numbers in my community dance classes, this would be the group I finally connected with. During carnival season I worked closely with mostly 9th grade girls, and during Semana Santa I worked with other 7th & 8th graders, but I was sad to find that after one performance each these groups did not come back.
I’m still not sure what the difference was in my approach other than I witnessed a more motivated group.
Perhaps because this was the first time boys were incorporated.
Independence Day in Dibulla