Go inside the Petronio Álvarez Festival in Cali
It is the most important exhibition of Afro culture in Latin America. It was held from Aug. 10 to 15 with an attendance of around 100,000.
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This year was the 26th version of the Petronio Álvarez Pacific Music Festival, held in Cali, Colombia in honor of the Afro-Colombian musician Patricio Romano Petronio Álvarez. It is a celebration of diverse expressions of the Afro-Colombian cultural heritage. Music, food and ancestral knowledge of the communities of the Colombian Pacific meet every year.
Brazil was the guest country, since its territory, as well as the Pacific, honors African heritage. Fifty percent of its population are Black.
Forty-four musical groups from the Colombian Pacific competed for the Bombo Golpeador (Petronio Álvarez Award) in the categories of Chirimía, Marimba and Traditional Songs, Caucan Violins and Free Version. The grand finale was held on Sunday, Aug. 14.
Vice President of Colombia Francia Márquez, the first Afro-Latina to hold the post in Colombia's history, was also present on stage during the last festival's last day. She sang, "What does Colombia want, peace? What do the children want, peace? What do the grandparents want, peace? What do the young people want, we are looking for peace."
Excited, the Vice President told the audience: "Thanks to our elders, brothers and sisters from Africa, Brazil, Ecuador, the party of the black Raizal and Palenquero people in Cali. We must make a commitment for the peace of the Pacific coast and the whole country. We do not want violence, we want to live in peace, thank you Cali, thank you Petronio Álvarez."
Márquez previously participated in this event when she was 29 years old, in 2010.