We are passionate about diffusing Latin culture in all its diversity. Part of that means bringing amazing latin artists to people who might never choose to go to A Latin event.
it’s also the reason we send inspiring Latin americans into schools to perform and teach children about our music, dances, arts and cultures. Here are a few of the things we've been doing in the weeks running up to each festival:
we took las hermanas Garcia, two teenage bolero sensations from mexico, to coleridge primary.
“I’ve been teaching in the school for many years and it was the first time my pupils saw any music from the region in Mexico I come from. the children were mesmerised by their beautiful boleros and were queuing up to get autograPhs like they were superstars. the children saw me in a different light afterwards... I was not just foreign, they could put me in a context of beauty and art, and I felt somehow they had more respect for me.”
Sonia damian, coleridge school, head of spanish
We took British-Ecuadorian rapper Guala, just signed to Candela Records - a new label focused on nurturing Latin artists in the UK - into Arts and Media secondary School in Islington (AMSI) TO TALK ABOUT HIS LIFE AND PERFORM WITH THE MUSIC STUDENTS FROM THE SCHOOL.
“Guala was just great and the children really loved it. It was especially lovely to see the smiles on the faces of our Latin American and Spanish speaking students. The opportunity for these students to see and hear someone who they obviously relate to is so important” Jonathan Dow, Head of Music, AMSI
“Yesterday's session was excellent at all levels. The kids really enjoyed it and it was eye opening for our little Latino community. Thank you very much and I am looking forward to any possible future ways of collaboration. Muchas gracias de corazón.”
Natxo Castillo Acosta, Head of Languages, AMSI
GUALA ALSO VISITED woodside high in tottenham, THE SCHOOL THAT HE WENT TO AS A CHILD. A gifted bi-lingual lyricist, Guala grew up in Tottenham and, after a life on the streets, turned his life around through music. He talked about his experiences , GAVE SONG-WRITING WORKSHOPS and performed TO the school.
"GUALA WAS INSPIRATIONAL. iT WAS cool THat HE RAPS IN BOTH SPANISH AND ENGLISH. HE HAS AMAZiNG FLOW AND BEAT."
Ryon, student, Woodside High School, Tottenham
"it felt really good to go back to the school I WENT TO and work with the kids. music got ME out of trouble because it gave me an outlet. I love doing workshops because I know I would have BENEFITTED FROM a mentor at that age."
GUALA, rapper and youth worker
"thank you so much for your time and generosity, the kids loved the workshops and the concert, as we did too! We would love to do future work together, and We'll spread the word about the festival in Finsbury Park!"
ANGELA WALLACE, Headmistress, Woodside High School, What Hart Lane
we senT one of the UK’s leading Tango teachers, into Coleridge primary school for 6 weeks to teach children the art of ARGENTINE tango.
“Raquel Greenberg came to teach six Tango sessions for children in Years 4, 5 and 6. Raquel was brilliant with the children and they really enjoyed the opportunity to learn Tango and then perform it…” Rebecca Godfrey, head of dance, Coleridge Primary
Marco Santana, the charismatic BRAZILIAN batucada leader behind Tribo, spent 6 weeks in rokesly primary school creating a samba group who perfromed on the day OF THE FESTIVAL.
royal ballet pRINCIPAL dancer fernando montaño gave an assembly to 200 primary school children...He recounted his amazing story of how he came from buena aventura, one of colombia's most poverty stricken areas and most affected by violence, to become a principal dancer at the royal ballet. HE THEN taught a group of 15 children a special choreography based on the moves of footballers, which they joined him to perform on the day of the festival, after his own performance .
"going into school to talk to the kids was a pleasure. I think they were able to understand why we have to train so hard.
I gave them a pice to dance to and watched them rehearse at their school. it made me very happy to see how their faces lit up when they watched me perform close up. and then we had a lot of fun. when they joined me to dance. I hope that maybe some them may want to start lessons and become a dancer of the future!”
we sent Fadi, one of the UK’s leading salsa teachers, into another local school to teach the children the wonders of Salsa dancing for six weeks. At the end of this they were rewarded with a trip to see the Latin musical ‘In the Heights’ written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
"IT WAS SUCH A TREAT FOR OUR KIDS TO GO TO A WEST END MUSICAL WITH A DIFFERENT TWIST - SHOWING LATIN CULTURE AND HOW IT CONTRIBUTES TO CONTEMPORARY CULTURE" jess keen, parent & school trip volunteer
"LATINOLIFE'S pre-festival outreach work in the local community helps to encourage a wide range of children and families to come to the festival." FESTSPACE, An EU-FUNDED PROEJCT RESEARCH on inclusivity & festivity in public spaces
WE gave children at Park View School in haringey dj workshops.
"The DJ session with the kids was amazing. The students enjoyed it so much, some of them are still talking about it. Jose Luis was outstanding with the children and has definitely inspired some into DJing, as a hobby and even some as future careers.”
Idalina Figueira de Abreu, Head of languages, park view secondary school
we gave an assembly at highgate wood secondary school, to encourage kids to take up language learning:
“Amaranta's talk about her experiences and her work brings languages to life for lots of children at a time when sadly there is little funding or focus on languages in the educational system.”
Jess Taylor, school governor, Highgate Wood Secondary school
we went in to talk to students of architecture and cities at westminster university about what makes a festival in teh city public space inclusive.
“latinolife festival is consistently seen as making a positive contribution to the city, for its inclusivity and low environmental impact, which is why we invited amaranta and jose to come in to talk to our under-graduate students.”
andrew smith, professor of urban experiences,
university of westminister