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Folk Contests at the Mejorana Festival, sponsored by Melo


[The first contest we covered was the mejorana performance for adults. Many local and out-of-towners participated.]

The first contest we covered was the mejorana performance for adults. Many local and out-of-towners participated.


[They all strived to win these awards and other prizes.]

They all strived to win these awards and other prizes.


[This contest, as well as the other ones featured  in this article, were sponsored by Alimentos Melo. The company's representatives sat right behind the jury.]

This contest, as well as the other ones featured in this article, were sponsored by Alimentos Melo. The company's representatives sat right behind the jury.


[One by one, the contestants masterfully played our national music instrument, the mejoranera.]

One by one, the contestants masterfully played our national music instrument, the mejoranera.


[A big crowd followed the contest with great interest.]

A big crowd followed the contest with great interest.


[Here is another of the contestants performing.]

Here is another of the contestants performing.


[Here we see the first place winner receiving the awards from the representatives of Melo Group.]

Here we see the first place winner receiving the awards from the representatives of Melo Group.


[In the next morning, the children contest took place. As we see, there will be no shortage of young talent here.]

In the next morning, the children contest took place. As we see, there will be no shortage of young talent here.


[This young girl performed very well and delighted the public.]

This young girl performed very well and delighted the public.


[Again, the Melo team was present at the stage during all the performances.]

Again, the Melo team was present at the stage during all the performances.


[This boy played with a great degree of talent.]

This boy played with a great degree of talent.


[Young girls, such as this participant, make up a larger percentage of contestants every year.]

Young girls, such as this participant, make up a larger percentage of contestants every year.


[The three winners brought home big prizes awarded by Melo Group.]

The three winners brought home big prizes awarded by Melo Group.


[Then, the mejorana singing contest began. This year, there were more girls than boys.]

Then, the mejorana singing contest began. This year, there were more girls than boys.


[One of the first contestants sings a decima.]

One of the first contestants sings a decima.


[The members of the audience were supporting their favorites at all times.]

The members of the audience were supporting their favorites at all times.


[There were several multi-talented participants who joined both the playing and singing contest, such as this girl.]

There were several multi-talented participants who joined both the playing and singing contest, such as this girl.


[This boy was a great representative of this year's male minority in the contest.]

This boy was a great representative of this year's male minority in the contest.


[With so many talented children, it was definitely a difficult job for the jury.]

With so many talented children, it was definitely a difficult job for the jury.


[And the three winners were all girls. Here we see them together with the people from Melo Group.]

And the three winners were all girls. Here we see them together with the people from Melo Group.


By:

Marino Jaén Espinosa
2016-10-04

One of the biggest dreams of every folk practioner in Panama is to perform at one of the folk contests of the Mejorana Festival at Guarare, during the month of September. These contests are a big draw of the festival, as they showcase the core of our Panamanian traditions.

For many years now, Melo Group, one of the largest food companies in Panama, has been sponsoring several of these contest, such as the adult and children mejorana contests and the sang decima contest. Thanks to such generous contributions, our dearest cultural heritage will stay alive for future generations of Panamanians.

We congratulate the organizers, participants and winners for keeping these traditions alive. If you are at Guarare next year during September, please consider attending this very nice event.


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