A celebration of dance and the vibrant, colourful carnival tradition of Latin America come together at a special charity event in Cardiff on 12 May.
Carnaval Latino has been organised by Cardiff dance teacher and choreographer Yonier Garcia (26) who comes from Colombia and is bringing a flavour of his country’s biggest and most famous carnivals – Carnaval of Barranquilla – to the Capital City for the first time.
The dance event will be held at the CMC Sports and Social Club at the University of Wales Hospital, Heath Park, Cardiff at 7 pm until midnight.
It will feature performances by Yonier’s dance crews including street, hip-hop, salsa and samba including a dazzling carnival-style finale. He has brought together 28 dancers from Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys and is busy rehearsing them for the big night. Guests will see the dancers perform in spectacular costumes and huge colourful head-dresses brought back from Colombia earlier this year.
The event also includes a dance-a-thon led by Yonier and supported by Cardiff Zumba teacher Irene Davies where everyone can take part and learn some of the exciting Latin-inspired dance routines. The evening ends with a dance party where everyone takes to the floor to try out their new dance skills!
Yonier Garcia said : “People often hear only bad things about my country but Carnaval Latino gives me an opportunity to share some of our wonderful music and dance and cultural traditions with people in South Wales. I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of people in my classes who want to support a charity for children in Colombia which is very close to my heart. I promise everyone have a wonderful night at Carnaval Latino while raising money for such a great cause.”
The event has been organised to raise money for Shakira’s charity – Barefoot Foundation – which works to help children in Colombia into education and out of poverty. Shakira is Colombia’s most famous ambassador and Yonier chose this charity because, as a Colombian,
he has seen at first-hand how the lives of children have been devastated by civil war, drug crime and poverty.
• The Barefoot Foundation places particular emphasis on helping children of internally displaced people – people forced to flee their homes;
• The UNHCR estimates that there are 3.6 million internally displaced people in Colombia placing amongst the highest in the world along with Sudan, Somalia and Iraq;
• Around 30,000 children are thought to be living on the streets of the Capital Bogota in desperate and dangerous conditions, 14,000 a year are recruited by guerrilla organisations as child soldiers, around 100 a year are killed by land mines while an average of 27 children a month are kidnapped;
• An estimated 3 million children between 11 and 17 are not in education;
• The Barefoot Foundation currently supports six schools in Colombia with 5,000 children receiving education, nutritious meals and support services;
• A further 30,000 vulnerable children and their families affected by population displacement are also being supported.
Tickets for Carnaval Latino are £10 and can be reserved by e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07975 732966