Kids of the Carnaval de Barranquilla

One of my favourite things so far during Carnaval has been all of the looks in the beautiful kids faces.  The wonderment and awe of so much life and fun right in front of them.  You can see in their eyes that life is a joy.  Not only this, but the pride in their parents’ faces while showing them this wonderful event is a true national treasure.  This country truly overflows with wonderment, awe, pride, and joy.  These photos show this better than I could ever describe it.

I asked this woman for a photo of her and her beautiful little girl.  She quite obviously was happy to pose for a photo for me.  The little girl is wearing a common costume here.  I asked a woman later in the day what was the significance of the red polka dots.  She told me that it was the uniform for the maids during the slave days.  The women who worked in the houses of the slave owners wore this uniform.  Now many of the women around town wear a variation of this costume, or just a bow in their hair, like the one the girl has in her hair.

My friend Marcello (Wandering Trader) took the above photo.  I love how entranced this little girl is by the parade in front of her.  Her proud papa was holding her and asking many of the parade passers-by for a photo.  I’m sure that he had 100s of photos with his little girl and the costumed people of the parade.  That’ll be a great keepsake I’m sure for years to come.  An amazing example of the kids of the Carnaval.

The little ones in the parade were so cute.  You’d think that in the hot midday sun they would be tired and not so happy, but that was not the case.  I didn’t see a single kid crying or screaming that they didn’t want to be marching all day in a hot costume.  To the contrary, they would stop, smile and pose for photos.  All of my friends agreed that the little ones were a highlight of every parade.\

I love the above photo.  This girl is filled with pride for the pretty dress she’s wearing, and her dad is filled with pride seeing his little girl so happy and proud during Carnaval.  This photo says more about the people here in Colombia than I could ever try to describe in words.  I’ll keep trying, don’t get me wrong, but the intangibles in this photo just can’t be put into words.

A little toro (bull) stopping to pose for me. There are a bunch of paper mache masks around.  I couldn’t imagine wearing them in the heat, but people do.  

Yes, elaborate costumes abound.  The amount of time and energy spent on this event is mind-boggling.  There are multiple parades all around the city, and each goes on for about five hours from 1pm-6pm, for four straight days.  The above picture is another example of just how proud they are to show off their hard work of the past months.  Everyone loves Carnaval!  From the newborns to the abuelos (grandparents.)
This is an amazing event!  I’m having a great time here.  Colombia definitely knows how to throw a party.  One amazing thing I’ve noticed is a lack of foreigners.  This event is massive, and there really aren’t many of us gringos here.  Makes for a great experience!
If you’re planning on attending. Make sure to plan ahead. There are not many options for economical accommodations in Barranquilla during Carnaval.

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