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Latin Distractions: Escapes, Experiences and Events

Uruguay Poised to Become First Country to Legalize Marijuana

August 2nd, 2013

Former Law Enforcement Officials Applaud Bill As Good for Public Safety and Health

Uruguay

A bill that would regulate and legalize marijuana, putting it under strict governmental control, passed the lower house of the Uruguayan legislature last night and is expected to pass the Senate and be signed by President Jose Mujica in coming days.

“The passage of this bill will allow police to spend their time and resources on violent crime, devastate criminal networks in the country who rely on marijuana income, create jobs, generate tax revenue, and ensure the quality and safety of the product for those who choose to use it,” said 30 year law enforcement veteran Terry Nelson, who spent decades fighting the war on drugs in Latin America and now advocates for its end with the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “This bill ensures a safer Uruguay and it should be a model for the world.”

Retired Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, another LEAP speaker who has seen firsthand the effects of legalization in his own state added that “In November Colorado and Washington became the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana. Just nine months later, an entire nation is poised to follow in their footsteps. This is a historic moment for Uruguay and a historic moment for anyone who cares about smart drug policy and a well-run criminal justice system. It gives further proof that the legalization of marijuana is both sustainable and inevitable in the United States and around the world.”

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a nonprofit group of police, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs.

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Andrea Echeverri (Aterciopelados) To Release ‘Ruiseñora’

July 23rd, 2013

Iconic Frontwoman of Latin Alternative Pioneers Aterciopelados Continues Her Critically-Acclaimed Solo Career

Ruiseñora

Nacional Records is proud to announce the August 27th release of ‘Ruiseñora,’ the new solo album from Andrea Echeverri, the iconic front woman of the Latin Grammy winning band Aterciopelados.

Rolling Stone raved about Andrea Echeverri’s self-titled debut solo album, which was nominated for both Grammy and Latin Grammy awards: “Echeverri’s crystalline vocals soar whenever she describes her new sense of womanhood – but she has lost none of her humor.”

Andrea Echeverri’s band Aterciopelados are Latin Grammy-winners who have rocked major stages like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, reached Top 10 of the Billboard Top Latin Albums Sales chart of the year, and performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Ruiseñora is an intensely personal album with songs about motherhood, identity, collectivity and devotion to the planet.

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Breaking Ground: 20th-Century Latin American Art at the Norton Simon Museum

July 23rd, 2013

In celebration of Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, the Norton Simon Museum presents an exhibition of works from 20th century Latin American artists.

In celebration of Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, the Norton Simon Museum presents an exhibition of works from 20th-century Latin American artists. Spanning the period from 1931 to 1985, the featured artworks demonstrate how artists broke new ground, leaving behind or drastically altering artistic conventions to explore diverse forms of modernism. This intimate exhibition comprises 12 artworks from the Norton Simon Museum’s collection by not only some  of the most revered names in Latin American art but also artists who are less widely known. Included are the Mexican painters, lithographers and  photographers Diego Rivera, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Rufino Tamayo, José Luis Cuevas and Ángel Bracho, as well as South Americans Roberto Matta  (from Chile), Gego (also known as Gertrud Goldschmidt, from Venezuela) and Antonio Frasconi (from Uruguay). The exhibition opens September 13th, 2013.

In a collection that is known primarily for its holdings of European and Indian and Southeast Asian art, the provenance of works from Latin America merits attention. Works by Rivera and Bracho were collected by German art dealer Galka Scheyer, who donated her collection to the Museum (then named the Pasadena Art Museum) in 1953. Prints by Tamayo, Cuevas and Gego are part of  the Museum’s renowned collection of prints from the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, which was founded in Los Angeles in 1960. Photographs by Álvarez Bravo came to the Museum in 1971 for the  artist’s first major U.S. exhibition. The prestigious Weyhe Gallery of New York, which was Roberto Matta (Chilean, 1911–2002) Design 1985, 1985 Etching, color ink on Arches paper Norton Simon Museum, which was instrumental in representing Latin American artists in the early 20th century, gifted the piece by Frasconi. And the signature piece by Matta was the recent gift of Museum supporters Terry and Sharon Bridges.

All together, these works demonstrate that 20th-century Latin American artists were engaged with a variety of subjects and themes, and that they conceived of the “figure” in radically different ways. Employing line, shape, form, color and texture, they undertook innovative approaches to figure–ground relations, using positive and negative space for various purposes. These varied compositions remind us that modernist tenets—whether elaborated in the United States, Europe or Latin America—represented communal ground, as artists exchanged and adapted stylistic innovations for seemingly endless purposes.

Breaking Ground: 20th-Century Latin American Art at the Norton Simon Museum is organized by Lynn LaBate, head of education at the Norton Simon Museum. A series of programs will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition. More information can be found at  www.nortonsimon.org.

About the Norton Simon Museum
The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30 year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of Indian and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art  from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

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A Must-See Peruvian Phenomenon

July 23rd, 2013

Epic Wildlife Adventure Includes Rare Gathering of 1,000 Macaws in Amazon This Fall with Wild Planet Adventures

Macaws

Rare and exotic wildlife viewing specialist Wild Planet Adventures announces a Peru & Galapagos Ultimate Wildlife expedition this fall combining peak coinciding seasonal wildlife events with world-class cultural experiences,” says Josh Cohen, company director.

This wildlife adventure targets a September-October phenomenon in the Peruvian Amazon that brings upwards of 1,000 birds at a time to the world’s largest macaw and parrot clay lick at the Tambopata National Reserve.  “It’s also the peak of the dry season in the Galapagos, which means penguins and sea lions are at their most active, fur seals are mating and Giant tortoises are laying their eggs, said Cohen. “At the same time, there are dramatically fewer tourists at Machu Picchu, and the world’s largest macaw and parrot clay lick in the Amazon is at its peak with five species of macaws and 15 species of parrots and parakeets transforming the clay into a shifting kaleidoscope of pulsing blues, greens, reds and yellows. The fall Galapagos / Peru combination is truly one of nature’s greatest events, and a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife adventure for any lover of wildlife.”

Mother and Daughter Observing Wildlife

Wild Planet is offering discounts of up to 15 percent off select Galapagos Ultimate Wildlife Cruises when combined with Peru. While the Galapagos is well known as one of the world’s premier wildlife viewing destinations, many people don’t know that the #1 park in the world for biodiversity is Manu Biosphere Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, with an astounding 200 species of mammals.  The combination of Peru and the Galapagos is the perfect showcase for Wild Planet Adventure’s wildlife expertise, with exclusive activities such as floating silently downriver at dawn to see jaguar on a “Jaguar Kayak Float“ and exclusive excursions to see pygmy marmoset, the worlds smallest –and cutest– primate.

Discounts on 8-day/7-night cruises in the Galapagos on environmentally friendly, first class 20-passenger yachts are available Aug 25-Sept 1, Sept 22-29, Sept 29- Oct 6, Oct 6-13, Oct 13-20, Oct 27-Nov 3, and Nov 3-10with savings of up to $682 per person, double.  The cruise can be before or after a Peru Ultimate Wildlife 13-Day Adventure that combines the best of Peru: the Sacred Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu, and up to two Amazonian biosphere reserves, Tambopata and Manu, where Wild Planet’s guests can experience more wildlife sightings than guests of other tour companies because of their exclusive wildlife activities.

Wild Planet Adventures

About Wild Planet Adventures
The expert wildlife guides of Wild Planet Adventures go the extra mile to explore remote wildlife habitat and study wildlife patterns in destinations not often accessible to the general public. Thanks to the company’s comprehensive itineraries that balance diverse and complex ecosystems and habitats, guests enjoy wildlife and game viewing that is carefully aligned with animals’ seasonal, daily and nocturnal migrations. It’s a beautiful Peruvian phenomenon.

Following a philosophy that interacting with nature has the power to transform lives, tours are conducted in Africa, Belize, Borneo, Brazil, Costa Rica, Galapagos, India, Laos, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Thailand and Zambia. Wild Planet Adventures is recognized by top publications in the travel industry for its itineraries that combine intimate encounters with wildlife and local culture.

For a more information and a complimentary 2013 catalog call toll-free 1.800.990.4376, or e-mail: trips@wildplanetadventures.com. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/.

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Insight Cuba to Provide Americans Travel Through Cuba

July 23rd, 2013

Insight Cuba Receives Sixth People-To-People Licence Authorizing Travel For Americans Through 2015

Los Bajos, Holguin, Cuba ©InsightCuba

American globetrotters who have always wanted a firsthand look at Cuba can now do so through 2015 with Insight Cuba. Offering 150 departures with six unique itineraries, the leading provider of legal people-to-people travel for Americans to Cuba has been reauthorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for the sixth time.

“We are thrilled to receive our renewed license, and look forward to offering our guests even more amazing experiences in Cuba,” said Tom Popper, president of Insight Cuba. “For almost 50 years, traveling to Cuba has only been a dream for most Americans. Now, with our array of people-to-people programs, Americans have extensive opportunities to engage with Cubans in real life settings and foster a deeper understanding of their rich history and culture.”

In addition to its six signature tours, Insight Cuba thrives at providing affinity travelers with private or customized group tours, providing unique access to people and places the average tourist rarely sees.

Among its 150 departures scheduled through June 2014, travelers can choose: Undiscovered Cuba (12 days / 11 nights); Classic Cuba (8 days / 7 nights); Scenic Cuba (8 days / 7 nights); Jazz in Havana (5 days / 4 nights); Cuban Music & Art (9 days / 8 Nights); and Weekend in Havana (4 days / 3 nights).

Since 2000, Insight Cuba has sent more than 6,000 participants on hundreds of tours. When travel to Cuba was reauthorized in 2011 under the Obama Administration, the not-for-profit company (a division of Cross-Cultural Solutions) was the first to bring Americans back to Cuba.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to visit Cuba and experience this enigmatic destination, while you still can, and before Cuba changes forever,” continued Popper.

Insight Cuba handpicks exclusive experiences and keeps its groups to 24 people maximum. All tours include: first-class accommodations, Cuban guide, Insight Cuba tour leader, meals, U.S. Department of the Treasury license and Insight Cuba letter of authorization, all entrance fees to scheduled activities and events, all in-country ground transportation and transfers, travel health insurance, emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation insurance (up to $1,000; additional coverage for a fee), an Insight Cuba guidebook, and a 24-hour emergency service hotline.

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Chile: The Longest Country In the World

July 23rd, 2013

Enjoy A Handful of Fascinating Facts About the Longest Country In the World — Chile. Who Knew There Was So Much To Know About Chile?

Facts of Chile © explora

What’s long and lean, coastal and mountainous, high and dry? Chile. And that’s only scratching the surface. The ever-innovative adventure travel company, explora, which is based in the capital city of Santiago and drawn to remote regions and cultures throughout Chile and South America beyond, has compiled a handful of intriguing details of the land affectionately known as La Roja – “The Red,” that is, same as its national football team, which plays a sport affectionately known as “soccer.” Well, in the U.S., at least. But that’s another story…

  • Who knew Chile was the longest country in the world? Actually probably a lot of people – just look at a map! Still, the details are pretty neat. Set snug along the western edge of the Andes Mountains, Chile runs 4,270 kilometers (2,653 miles) from the Diego Ramírez Islands and Cape Horn in the south to the borders of Peru and Bolivia in the north. If you laid out Chile smack in the middle of North America it would stretch from the U.S. border with Canada all the way to southern Mexico.
  • Who knew Chile was so skinny? With an average width of just 177 kilometers (110 miles), Chile is the narrowest country in the world. Its broadest point near Antofagasta is only 356 kilometers (221 miles) while its narrowest point at Illapel is just 90 kilometers (56 miles).
  • Who knew that Chile spans three continents? While it is primarily laid out in the South American continent, Chile also has sovereignty over Easter Island (a.k.a., Rapa Nui) way out in Oceania in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The country also claims Territorio Chileno Antártico, a territory of Antarctica that at least partially overlaps similar claims by Argentina and Britain. The territory is occupied with eight bases of operation,  four of which operate year-round solely for scientific research.
  • Who knew Chile had so many climates? Thanks to its unusual length and the diversity of its landscapes and ecosystems, Chile has seven distinct climates, ranging from desert in the north throughMediterraneanalpinetundrahumid subtropical and oceanic along its spine, to frosty polar in Antarctica.
  • Who knew Chile was so volcanic? There are at least 2,000 volcanoes in Chile, of which 500 are considered geologically active. Within the area of San Pedro de Atacama, departure point for the adventures of explora Atacama, there are four volcanoes includingLincancabur, Lascar, Putana and Sairecabur. Meanwhile, Easter Island is a volcanic high island consisting of three extinct coalesced volcanoes:TerevakaPoike and Rano Kau. The vast majority of the silent moaithat give Rapa Nui its cache were carved of tuff, a compressed volcanic ash. The island is shaped like a triangle, with a volcano in each corner -Poike, Rano Kau and Terevaka – but there’s also Rano Raraku Volcano, known as the “moai quarry”.
  • Who knew Chile has the 5th most beautiful place in the world? The editors of National Geographic Traveler, which ranked Torres del Paine Park as such in 2013. Hotel Salto Chico, base of operations of explora Patagonia, is right at the heart of the park, which was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1978. From glaciers to lakes to the iconic peaks of Cuernos del Paine, the 2,422 square kilometer (935 square mile) park holds many wonders, including breeding populations of 15 species of birds of prey, one of which – the condor – appears on Chile’s National Coat of Arts alongside another park inhabitant, thehuemul, a.k.a., the South Andean deer.
  • Who knew Chile has the highest, driest desert on the planet? The Mars-like Atacama Desert along the Pacific coast west of the Andes also has some of the clearest skies anywhere, making it the perfect spot for ALMA, a radio astronomy telescope built by Europe, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and Chile.  It’s the world’s largest astronomical project. While explora travelers can’t squint at the heavens through ALMA, they can examine the Southern night sky through the Meade 16-inch f/10 LX200R Advanced RC Telescope at Hotel de Larache, the desert outpost of explora Atacama. The scope is outfitted with premium-grade optical glass, a Super Wide Angle Eyepiece, and a “piggy bracket” for mounting digital cameras for spectacular shots. Prepare to be dazzled.
  • Who knew Chile bordered such rough water? Way down south at the tip of Chile lays Cape Horn, the southernmost part of Tierra del Fuego Island, which used to be considered the most southerly point in South America. Not anymore – but whatever. Cape Horn is not only south enough it also borders the Drake Passage, a notoriously rough, 800-kilometer-wide (500-mile-wide) stretch of open blue named for the English privateer Sir Francis Drake. Cut across the narrowest part of the passage and you’ll hit Antarctica’s Snow Island located 130 kilometers (81 miles) from the frosty mainland.
  • Who knew so many people visit Chile? Some 3.5 million in 2012 alone, in fact, including 266,000 North Americans. A fortunate sliver of them enjoy the explora experience. And they’re never the same.
  • Who knew the Nobel Prize-winning author Pablo Neruda could be so descriptive? He did say Chile “was invented by a poet,” after all.
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Say ‘I Do’ In Puerto Vallarta In A Dream Destination Wedding

July 16th, 2013

Register to Win For the Chance To Say 'I Do' In Puerto Vallarta With This Dream Destination Wedding Contest

 

A Puerto Vallarta Romance

Puerto Vallarta and the Mexico Tourism Board have partnered with AM Resorts, Aeromexico Airlines and Bridal Guide Magazine to give away a wedding in the Pacific coast Mexican town of Puerto Vallarta. The 15 person wedding includes a ceremony, reception as well as a 4-day/3-night hotel and flights for the couple. Those interested in registering for this promotion simply have to upload a video stating why they want to get married in Puerto Vallarta and uploaded at winatriptopuertovallarta.com/romance. Say ‘I do’ in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta’s prime location, nestled between the Bay of Banderas, one of the world’s largest bays, and the lush Sierra Madre Mountains, offers a magical and unique Mexican setting for the celebration of love. In addition, the destination’s superb infrastructure, attractions and services providers make planning a destination wedding a stress-free experience.

Secluded in a lush tropical paradise, Dreams Puerto Vallarta is an AAA Four Diamond, Unlimited-Luxury® resort with spacious rooms and suites, all with ocean views, a private golden sand beach, three shimmering pools, gourmet restaurants and friendly bars plus lounges. Part of the AM Resorts, Dreams’ wedding packages -Paradise, Dreams of love and Dreams ultimate; include wedding planning, receptions, justice of peace and many more services!

Aeromexico Vacations Romance is currently offering up to $200 in savings when a destination package is purchased. Simply, the marrying couple receives a percentage with each guests purchase through AeroMexico Vacations Romance promotion.

During 2012, the destination was named About.com’s Most Romantic Place, and is a popular destination for destination wedding because of its Mexican small town soul and its international infrastructure.

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Unspoiled Wonders of Patagonia

July 16th, 2013

explora and Cruceros Australis Combine Operational Excellence to Reveal the Wonders of Patagonia

Unspoiled Wonders of Patagonia © explora

Has it been 20 years already since a group of pioneering travelers set out to reveal the remote regions of South America to the world? Yes, it has – and the adventure travel outfit born of that effort is still creating exceptional opportunities to experience the breathtaking beauty and cultural wonders those regions hold. To that end, explora recently partnered with the expedition cruise operator Cruceros Australis to fashion a unique adventure through the unspoiled wonders of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego Island.

Brought together by a shared passion for remote and in-depth exploration, explora and Cruceros Australis are offering a 9-day journey through the remarkably beautiful yet intriguingly inhospitable region of Patagonia that stretches across the southernmost tips of Chile and Argentina.

The journey spends days exploring the peaks, glaciers, lakes, and rich flora and fauna of Chile’s famed Torres del Paine National Park before arriving in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego. From there, travelers board a Cruceros Australis cruise vessel and head off to explore mythical Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the Americas. Along the way they’ll discover Wulaia and Ainsworth bays; Tucker Islets; the stunning glaciers of Alberto de Agostini National Park; and Magdalena Island in the Strait of Magellan, a refuge for a large colony of Magellanic penguins that is as impressive as it sounds. For those preferring to spend their first days at sea, the adventure can be done the other way around.

Commenting on the new partnership, explora CEO Jesús Parrilla noted: “Over the years we have heard requests from a significant number of travelers, tour operators and travel agencies that explora and Cruceros Australis should combine their operational excellence to offer the unique landscape of Patagonia and surrounding sea as one extraordinary travel experience. Our goal is to unify itineraries to create travel packages that enable travelers to get the most from their trip on land and at sea. We anticipate a productive partnership and many more adventures to come.”

For more information on the transforming adventure in Patagonia from explora and Cruceros Australis, please visit this page, or please contact explora in the U.S. at 866-750-6699 or visit www.explora.com.

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The Lodge at Pico Bonito Kicks Off New #BirdseyeOnThePrize Instagram Contest

July 16th, 2013

Capture and Post Your Best Photos of Birds in Your Everyday Life and Win a Two-Night Stay For Two at One of the World’s Leading Eco-Lodges

The Lodge Porch © Pico Bonito

Set at the base of Honduras’ vibrant Pico Bonito National Park and named among the world’s top eco-lodges, The Lodge at Pico Bonito is announcing its first Instagram competition, #BirdseyeOnThePrize. Revered as a dream destination for travelers seeking an escape into an all-encompassing natural paradise, the lodge is an established haven for birders.

Whether enjoying a relaxing breakfast on the shaded, open-air porch or an early morning trip to one of the property’s observation towers, natural wonders and exotic bird species abound at Pico Bonito — home to over 400 bird species. Regular sightings include Honduras’ endangered Emerald Hummingbird, the brilliant Keel-Billed Toucan, and the elusive lovely Cotinga, all in an unparalleled jungle setting.

#BirdseyeOnThePrize Competition

With the goal of celebrating the beauty of birds and bringing awareness to these fascinating creatures, The Lodge at Pico Bonito asks followers to post photos that capture the beauty of birds in their everyday lives. From July 15 through October 31, 2013, Instagram users can follow @PicoBonito and submit their best photos, along with the hashtag, #BirdseyeOnThePrize, for their chance to win a stay for two at The Lodge at Pico Bonito.

Birding © Pico Bonito

Requirements and parameters include:

Contest Start date: July 15, 2013
Contest End Date: October 31, 2013

1. Follow @PicoBonito on Instagram
2. Post photos of birds in your daily life to Instagram including the location where the image was taken and the following:

• Required tag: @PicoBonito
• Required hashtag: #BirdseyeOnThePrize

Prizes:

Grand Prize: A two-night stay for two people at The Lodge at Pico Bonito
Runner Up: A birding excursion for two people at The Lodge at Pico Bonito
Second Runner Up: $100 restaurant credit

Participants must be 18 years or older. All winners will be chosen by The Lodge at Pico Bonito’s team of expert naturalists, and will be announced via Instagram on November 15, 2013.

Head Naturalist At Pico Bonito Offers Tips to Help You Keep Your #BirdseyeOnThePrize

1. Focus on areas where birds feed (i.e. feeders, fruiting or flowering trees)

2. Hide if you can, be patient and let the birds come to you.

3. If you spot a bird and it doesn’t move, begin taking pictures from far away and keep on taking them as you move in gradually.

4. Observe and learn a bird’s movements. Birds, like people, are creatures of habit, and very often one can predict where and when a bird will be by simply observing.

5. When moving towards a bird to take a picture, hide behind something if possible, then peak around to take the shot.

6. Move slowly so as not to alarm a bird. Respectfully working within a bird’s comfort zone will result in the best image.

Rates start at $215 per night and are based on double occupancy. This rate includes daily breakfast, a private tour of the butterfly farm and serpentarium, and access to the loop trail. The Lodge is accessible from major American gateway airports. For further info visit www.picobonito.com or call 888-428-0221.

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CentroAmericanto Fest 2013 Comes to Spice Up Austin

July 16th, 2013

Centroamericanto Stage

The CentroAmericanto Fest 2013 is a unique event that showcases Central American music and culture. The 5th annual fiesta will highlight Guillermo Anderson (Honduras), Rialengo (Costa Rica), Frigüey (El Salvador) and regional artists on September 27 and 28, 2013. Friday night will be performances from the three world class acts in the intimate Dougherty Arts Center on Barton Springs Road. On Saturday, September 28 CentroAmericanto Fest 2013 will hold a free outdoor family festival at Zilker Park Hillside Theater. Audiences of all ages will be pleased with the participation of local dance companies showcasing Central American dances, food vendors, children activities, raffles, and more. For more information visit www.cacfest.com.

Three bands will travel all the way to Austin, Texas to take part in this exotic jubilee:

@ Centroamericanto

Guillermo Anderson is Honduras’ best-known World Music artist. Based in the lively Caribbean port of La Ceiba, Guillermo and his band, Ceibana, infuse Afro-Caribbean percussions with contemporary sounds, local rhythms, and the folklore of Honduras’ coastal regions. Performances are spiced with the merging of Honduran Garífuna rhythms such as “Parranda” and “Punta” with better-known reggae and salsa styles. (www.guillermoanderson.com)

Rialengo is Francisco Murillo’s latest cumbia project. He is part of the new generation of songwriters of Costa Rica. His music deals with everyday issues from a form, some would say, poetic. Francisco is from the rural area of Costa Rica and it shows in his writing. His songs are filled with concrete images such as rivers, rain, washing, and the like. (www.franmurillo.reycortes.com)

Frigüey the popular El Salvadorian band that fuses rock with Latin rhythms such as cumbia, salsa, ska, reggae, quebradita and reggaetón. Since their beginning in 1996, the band has chosen to play music with a happy tone and definitely that has been their signature to the extent of being known as La Fiesta Frigüey. They have traveled throughout Central America and have become an audience favorite in Mexico and the East Coast of the United States. (http://www.friguey.com)

The producer of CentroAmericanto Festival is El Salvadorian native Mauricio Callejas. A soulful troubadour himself, Mauricio approaches Latin music from a vision that summarizes different traditions from the rhythms of Central American music and Latin American poetry. Born in El Salvador, he developed his vocation as a songwriter at a young age. In 2002, Mauricio moved to Austin, Texas, where he continues working as a musician, producer and cultural promoter.

“CentroAmericanto Fest is a three day event where we showcase music not often heard in Texas,” says organizer and host, Mauricio Callejas. “CentroAmericanto Fest highlights the beautiful rhythms, poetic lyrics, and themes that are unique to this part of the world.”

CentroAmericanto Fest promotes Central American music in Texas and worldwide on www.cacfest.com. It is produced annually by Central World Music of Austin, Texas and sponsored by La Peña Inc. a local non-profit dedicated to the Latino arts.

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