Photo Feature by Caridad

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HAVANA TIMES — I arrived at Puerto la Cruz, a city located in Venezuela’s east, to attend the first Youth Tour (Tour del Juventud) concert held in the country.

What concert, you ask?

A couple years ago, Venezuela created a Ministry of Youth-Related Activities. In the course of recent months, this ministry set in motion the Youth of the Homeland Mission (Mision Jovenes de la Patria), an initiative aimed at financing and supporting social and cultural projects undertaken by young people around the country and to create interactive spaces for entertainment, cultural activities and study.

concierto-46This first concert is a music tour which included three of Venezuela’s major (most heavily populated) cities: Puerto la Cruz (Anzoategui), Maracaibo (Zulia) and Caracas.

One of the most popular bands that played at the concert was Dame pa’ Matala, which combines Afro-Venezuelan rhythms, hip hop and the characteristic harmonies of the cuatro to produce pieces aimed at raising social awareness among the public.

Those of us in the audience were delighted by the improvised lyrics of Campesinos Rap, a band from Apure, in Venezuela’s plains region, who rapped couplets to the rhythm of harps and cuatros.

The raggae groups included Jey Da Polemic, from Caracas (a band that combines the dance hall and hip hop genre) and the exquisite Puerto-Rican group Cultura Profetica.

The Youth Tour will have its second concert next year, to offer free music to everyone who still feels young.

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Caridad

Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

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