7 July 2010 Altos de Cazucá is Comuna 4 of the city of Soacha: Soacha is also the name of the city center.  I finally made it there to see a show put on by different youth groups of Altos de Cazucá.  We piled the kids that wanted to watch the show onto a bus and drove through the pouring rain to the center (so much for seeing other parts of the city).  When we got there we met up with some of the breakdancers from the school.  They had been there since 8 with no food.  It was now 1 so we took them to a bakery nearby, where before performing a breakdance routine they ordered huge pastries and soda.  It made me a little nauseous just thinking about it, but they all fared well. When the emcee got on stage I was pretty excited to see the show.  Little did I know that I would have to sit through about a half an hour of introductions (not bad) and THREE anthems that everyone sang; national, department and city (terrible).  When the show did start, the groups that performed were really amazing.  Part of the focus in Cazucá is development through dance, arts, sports and theatre.  This acts not only to enhance the children’s skills and feeling of belonging in the community but also serves to fill free time, keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble.  Many groups also focus on keeping traditions from the places where large segments of the population have been displaced. There were groups of traditional dancers accompanied by musicians that were really amazing.  Also present, our break dancers, some theatre groups mainly enacting short skits focused on peace/democracy building and a capoeira group. At the intermission my friend Monica and I went to buy some artesenías (handicrafts) that some kids were selling in the lobby.  As we approached I saw the eyes of the girl behind the table widen.  She looked at me, then looked at Monica and asked her in a bewildered voice, “Is she a gringa?”  I laughed and answered for Monica that I, in fact, was.  She looked back at Monica and exclaimed, “Chévere” (cool). With all of the anthems, introductions and performances, the show went over by hours.  And by the time we left it was about 6:30, still pouring and Soacha had started to flood.  We sat in a traffic jam and had to take a detour to avoid the flooding of the highway, so I ended up back in Cazucá at 9 (which is approximately 5 hours later than I am ever allowed to be there).  It was a little nerve-racking, but I made it safe and sound.  And the views from Cazucá at night are pretty amazing; you can see the whole city lit up.

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