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Hijos del West Return from Taiwan

Hijos del West Return from Taiwan
August 22
14:51 2018

By: Benjamin Flowers

This week Hijos del West, the Marimba cultural group based in Benque Viejo del Carmen, returned from a month-long trip to Taiwan where five of their members represented Belize at the Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgames Festival.

The contingent returned to Belize on Tuesday, having done two performances a day, seven days a week for the duration of their stay in Taiwan.

Founder Ian Yacab explained that the group, with 11 members total, has been playing together for five years but has never had an experience like attending the festival in Taiwan.  Yacab traveled with Christian Archila, 20, Emil Hernandez, 17, Luis Quiroz, 14, and Leandro Pacheco, 9.

Yacab said that the group has returned with new ideas to promote marimba in Belize and abroad along with new friendships formed with other cultural performers from all over the world that attended the festival.

“We had never worked so hard but I motivated my group, reminding them that we were out there to represent and promote our country…” Yacab said. “Now the people that we made friends with from the other countries know about Belize and they hope to come here in the future.”

Sapna Budhrani, President of the National Institute of Culture and History, explained that the participation was historic because it was the first time that Belize was represented at the festival, as well as the first time Belize’s marimba was played at that kind of event. She noted that NICH gave the team financial support to aid them in the endeavor.

“We want to continue to do things like these, but we will need to plan ahead for the industry,” Budhrani said.

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