Young Decima Tournament at La Mitra Folk Festival, sponsored by Melo
The event began right on time, after welcoming words from Mrs. Nelly De Leon, president of the organizing committee.
The festival grounds are decorated with traditional elements, such as this wooden structure, ready to be plastered with mud for making a quincha house.
There was also a sugarcane mill, for representing the process of making cane honey.
Of course, next to the mill, there was the oven for cooking the sugarcane into honey.
The traditional macho game, a spinning log in which two boys sit in order to see who is the first to fall, was also present.
Another element represented was the bread-making mud oven.
From the early afternoon, the young decima singers prepared themselves for their performance, sponsored by Melo.
The decima meeting took place under one of several huts built in the festival grounds.
Simultaneously, several student groups performed folk dances.
This festival was attended by many visitors, who enjoyed the traditional activities.
The Young Decima Tournament began with the opening words by Mrs. Daysy De Leon, a member of the festival committee.
The first block of decimas was featured by Hector Diaz and Victoria Cedeno.
After them, the next pair of singers was Maria Guadalupe Cedeno and Maria Perez.
Mr. Juan Andres Castillo, renowned mejorana player, was also present at the event. He was recently awarded by Melo as a Panamanian Folklore Value.
Another act of the event was an accordion music performance, by The Juglares, also awarded by Melo several months ago.
Then, the decima kids were back. Here we see Yarisel Chavez (left) with the previously mentioned fellow singers.
And the last decima was sung by Arquimedes Urriola (right) together with two colleagues already mentioned.
After great performances, the young talents received incentives from Melo, sponsor of the event.
As we were leaving the festival grounds, we met this group of empolleradas, who brought their love of our traditions to this heritage event.
La Mitra is a town next to the city of La Chorrera, located in West Panama province. It is populated by many people with roots in the Azuero region, who have lived harmoniously with the original locals and also with new arrivals from Panama City. It was this ecclectic cultural mix that motivated the creation, in the last decade of the 20th Century, of the La Mitra Folk Festival.
The event features a variety of activities such as folk dance performances, decima singing contests and the representation of countryside traditions such as the sugarcane milling and the quincha house building, among others.
This year, we attended the Young Decima Tournament, an event sponsored by Melo. There, several kids, male and female, displayed their talent by masterfully singing our traditional poetry. The participants were: Hector Diaz, Victoria Cedeno, Maria Guadalupe Cedeno, Maria Perez, Yarisel Chavez and Arquimedes Urriola. All received incentives by Melo.
We thank Claribel Gonzalez, Nelly De Leon, Daysy De Leon and Michelle Frias, from the organizing committee, for their support during our visit. We would like to remind our visitors that the dates for the next folk festivals of Panama are available here at our Digital Calendar of Cultural Heritage Festivities of Panama.