The Ecuadorian Club celebrates ‘Carnavalito’ with food and dance

Baruch College’s Ecuadorian Club celebrated “Carnavalito” with games, cultural performances, a photo booth and authentic cuisine on April 2 during club hours.

“Carnavalito” is an Ecuadorian carnival that is a major national holiday, which celebrates excess and abundance before a six-week period known as “Cuaresma” or Lent — a period of sobriety and prudence.

To commemorate the end of the solar year, certain indigenous tribes celebrated by throwing decorative flowers, cooking flour and spraying perfumed water into the air.

The purpose of these traditions is to get rid of the past and to cleanse so Lent can bring a new beginning.

“It’s just really important for us because we want to spread our culture on campus. There isn’t a lot of Ecuadorian clubs in the CUNY system, so we thought this event was a great way for people to learn about the holiday,” said Domenica Cotrina, president of the Ecuadorian Club. “For us, it is the beginning of spring or a fresh beginning.”

The carnival is a three-day-celebration in which businesses close down and people spend time with their family.

At the event in the Multipurpose Room, the club showed a video of the carnival in Ecuador and the music, joy, chants and water festival of the celebration. There were two performances.

The first performance was a cultural dance by Ayazamana, a traditional Ecuadorian music and dance group.

The performers wore traditional clothing and danced to their songs to showcase the cultural dance.

It was followed by the first game of the night: the mystery box. The winner earned a $500 Starbucks gift card.

The second game was tug of war and many people from the audience participated voluntarily as the crowd cheered for the contestants.

The third game of the carnival was “Throw It,” in which the contestants had to throw something in a designated area. The game was won by senior Eric Jiang.

During an intermission, authentic Ecuadorian cuisine was served to the audience as the band Chota Madre performed live on stage.

After the intermission, the final game of the night ended in a bang through the garbage bag race in which contestants had to jump inside the garbage bag across the room.

It was followed by a raffle to win an Amazon Echo and two Starbucks gift cards.

The lead singer of Chota Madre, Maggie Gomez, said music is so diverse and she is proud to be able to share Ecuadorian music with others.

“It is amazing sharing part of my culture,” said Gomez. “And Ecuador is my home. I feel proud.”

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