Photo Montage: Comite Pro Bolivia 21st “Concurso de Caporales”

The Comite Pro Bolivia is a local organization founded 31 years ago by members of the local Bolivian community to promote and preserve the folkloric traditional culture of its member’s homeland. For the past 21 years, the organization has presented “Concurso de Caporales”. This past Saturday night, the dance group Caporales San Simon was crowned champion for the 3rd year in a row.

Always a crowd favorite, the Caporales dance is relatively new. It originated 50 years ago from the Afro-Boliviano community of Los Yungas as a dedication to the Virgin of Socavón. The inspiration for the dance came from El Caporal, a mixed-raced foreman that supervised the slaves of Potosi. The men wear colorful outfits complete with a foreman’s hat and a whip. The women are also dressed with colorful costumes called Trajes which include hats as well.

The Comite Pro Bolivia presents events throughout the year including a day long festival featuring several groups representing many of Bolivia’s traditional dances. The festival is held in early September at the Prince William County Fairgrounds in Manassas, Va.

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