Friday, October 14, 2011

Carnaval Valparaíso style

Carnaval or what is known also as Mil Tambores (a thousand drums) took place last week in Valparaíso. This event was born in 1999 as an expression of protest for the lack of public spaces for artistic, cultural expression. Each spring tens of thousands of folks participate in a weekend long gathering of musical and political expression.

It definitely reminded us of our May Day celebration in Minneapolis. This year's event was dedicated to Violeta Parra, a folk hero and pioneer of the Nueva Canción in Chile. You'll perhaps know her most well-known song, "Gracías a la Vida". Its one of the most covered Latin American songs ever. Our kids have learned several other of her songs in music class at school.

Here's some photos of the culminating event - the parade. We had a lot of fun attending with our friends the Dicus Breen family. A carefree celebration filled with creative costumes, dancing, lack of costumes, all to the backdrop of thousands of drummers. It was awesome.


  1. Who is the Vikings fan? Is he an American? I know the Vikings of old travelled far and wide, but I never heard of them getting as far as South America. But then again I have to admit that I never heard anyone say that the Vikings DIDN'T get as far as South America. Could the Incas have been descendants of norsemen who came over to America with Lief Ericsson and then decided to head south into warm weather rather than return to chilly old Iceland and Greenland? You people could remain in South Amrica for another year to investigate this intriguing possibility. I'm sure grant money is available somewhere for such a study.

    Clue worth following: Among the gold trinkets collected by Atahualpa's people to ransom their king from Pizzaro's captivity, there were a number of golden gophers. The gopher is not native to the Andean region. Golden gophers are found only in Minnesota, Finland and Iceland.

    Uncle Dan Rogers

  2. Hi Laura, Once again you have terrific photos. It looks like high-spirited fun. I'm a little amused at the protest about lack of "public space for artistic expression." There is more public art in Valpo than any other place I've been.

    Love, Mom

  3. Awesome! Loved the painted gals (both sets displayed here) and the Brazilian-esque batteria! And the sun. The sun looked lovely! Miss you guys and love you tons.