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Carnaval del Sol brings Latin America plazas to Vancouver

Carnaval del Sol brings Latin America plazas to Vancouver

Posted by PanamericanWorld on July 08, 2016

Organizers of Vancouver’s biggest celebration of Latin American culture have broken down their mission into three parts: they want people attending Carnaval del Sol on Saturday and Sunday (July 9 and 10) to eat, play, and live Latin America.

“We really want people to feel that they are experiencing life in Latin America,” says Paola Murillo, founder and executive director of the Latincouver Cultural and Business Society, the group behind the free annual event that started in 2009.

By phone, Murillo and colleague Natalia Parga, Carnaval del Sol’s project manager, walked the Georgia Straight through what the festival has lined up this year at Concord Pacific Place (88 Pacific Boulevard).

In addition to the main stage, where more than 150 individual artists and bands will be performing, the huge open space between Science World and the Plaza of Nations will be transformed into seven plazas.

According to Parga, there will be a food plaza, where more than 20 venders are going to offer food from different Latin American countries. One of these is Parilla Argentina, with its choripán sandwiches of grilled chorizo on crusty bread and lomito sandwiches of soft bread and grilled meats.

One plaza will be dedicated to beer, where festivalgoers can sample Sol Cerveza and Dos Equis.

On another, chefs will demonstrate how to prepare Latin American food like ceviche (raw fish cured with citrus juices) and lomo saltado, flash-fried beef strips.

Soccer is the number one sport in Latin America, and one plaza will host live games. Teams carrying the flags of non–Latin American countries like Japan and Turkey will also be participating in the contest.

For those wanting a creative experience, an urban zone will feature handcrafts (ceramics, beadwork, mosaics, origami, et cetera), live painting, sculpture, and photography.

For the first time, Carnaval del Sol will feature fashion shows, with Latin American–inspired styles, at its family plaza.

Lastly, the festival will have a kids’ area where children can play and do other fun stuff (like taking a swing at a piñata) while their moms get their hair and nails done.

“We are a very family-friendly festival,” Parga said.

Based on the 2011 census, more than 29,000 people in Metro Vancouver are of Latin American heritage.

Through events like Carnaval del Sol, Murillo and her colleagues with Latincouver aim to connect Latinos from different countries to celebrate the things they have in common as well as to build bridges of understanding with other communities—so everyone can eat, play, and live together in harmony.

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