Postcard from... carnival in Colombia

This month's postcard is from carnival time in a town near Barranquilla, Colombia and is told to us by 12-year-old Rico.

Rico loved dancing in the carnival

The second biggest carnival in the world is held in Barranquilla, Colombia, and this year it was celebrated from 2nd March to 5th March. We were staying in the neighbouring town called Santa Marta where a smaller carnival takes place at the same time.

Carnival is an annual celebration held between the Friday and Ash Wednesday. Originally carnival was a food festival where people could eat and drink in as much as they liked before the start of Lent. It is still celebrated today along with much music, dancing and bright costumes.

My family and I were in Colombia to volunteer at a foundation called Tiempo De Juego (Time to Play), which was set up to help empower children in poorer areas. They offer many different activities like football, dancing, crafts, music, homework help and English.

The TDJ Dance team were participating in the opening street parade for this year’s carnival. On carnival morning we went to TDJ to help out with make-up and hair. 

A bus picked us up and took us to where the parade started. Here, all the participants had to perform in front of two judges. I thought that our dancers were the best.

When the parade started, all the dancers lined up behind the van which was decorated and playing very loud the music.

The line of cars and dancers slowly moved along the carnival route along in Santa Marta. I joined in with the dancers and spent the whole afternoon dancing with them in the parade.

Slowly the sun set and the parade came to an end. We were soaking wet and white - because the spectators sprayed us with foam and threw flour at us, all part of carnival tradition. 

Rico's legs ached by the end of the day

Our ears were ringing from the non-stop loud music, and our legs were aching from the dancing. We fell straight into bed once we got back to our guesthouse. 

A week later we got the results  - Tempo De Juego came 3rd!!

Enjoyed reading Rico's story? Read more travel writing by children:

Wannabe travel writer? Aged 5-16? If you’d like to write for the Lonely Planet Kids blog, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our LP Kids contributor guidelines to find out more.

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