Carlos Bernate

Photographer
    La Cumbia Del 30 by Carlos Bernate  
La Cumbia Del 30
Location: Richmond
Nationality: Colombia
Biography: Carlos Bernate is a Colombian documentary photographer/videographer/writer, whose work is focused on human rights, identity, and social humanitarian-related issues. Currently, he is dedicated to documenting his community in Richmond, Virginia,... MORE
Public Story
La Cumbia Del 30
Copyright Carlos Bernate 2022
Updated Mar 2022
Topics Community, Culture, Culture stories, Documentary, Editorial, Essays, Journalism, Latin America, Personal Projects, Photography, Photojournalism, Reportage, Travel
In the small town of Guamal, Magdalena at María Luz Saucedo's restaurant, during a party about 40 years ago, Maximiliano Guerra, Jhon Alvarado, Orlando Ramos and José Ignacio Mejía, as a way to unite their community, had the idea of ​​going to the town of El Boton so they can hire musicians to give life to what has been called "La Cumbia del 30" for more than four decades.

It all starts a few days before December 30th, when the small “Johnsons”, that are motorized canoes, arrive to the shore of the magdalena river, with all the merchandise for the festivities. Also, some visitors from other neighboring towns who join this great celebration.

In the early morning of Dec. 30th, the sound of fireworks let people know that it is the day of "La Cumbia". Throughout the day, the Guerra family, prepare the square in front of the family house, where the men would later bring a banana palm of about 3 meters high, as the tradition of the cumbia in the region dictates, they dig a hole in the ground to be able to bury it and the women of the family will then decorate it.

At 8pm, the musicians arrive, driving around town while playing their instruments to encourage people to join the party. Until 'El mono' appears, as some guamaleros say as a nickname for the sun, to the sound of the 'milleros" they dance, laugh and get drunk. Between drinks and dances families are reunited, because some had to leave town to seek a better life for themselves, they do return every year to share this tradition, which has not lost its charm and continues to be a symbol of union in the region.

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La Cumbia Del 30 by Carlos Bernate
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