Lisistrata – teatro clásico siempre actual

Entrevista con Lucrecia Basualdo, directora de la obra: Lisistrata. Una comedia de la Antigua Grecia.

¿Porque estás montando Lisistrata en Washington?

basualdo2Lisistra me eligió a mí y no yo a la obra. Es una pieza que he querido dirigir por más de veinte años. No la monté en Alemania porque en Alemania se hizo muchísimas veces, en alemán. Hay dos obras de Aristófanes en las cuales estoy muy interesada: Lisistrata y Un dios llamado dinero. La segunda la voy a poner después, cuando termine con todo esto.  La idea de poner Lisistrata nace en la OEA, después de hacer una lectura dramática de una mujer italiana llamada Serena Dandini, la cual dio vida a una veintena de mujeres que fueron abusadas sexualmente y asesinadas.

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Mirando por el retrovisor

RoadMovHist SM1Moving forward, looking back “Yendo hacia adelante mirando atrás” es la nueva muestra en la Antigua Residencia de los embajadores de España abierta al público hasta el 28 de junio. Parte documento, parte performance, parte ensayo fotográfico, este show es una serie de retratos de los descendientes de españoles en los estados sureños de Los Estados Unidos. Janire Nájera, la autora de dicha muestra, viajó durante varios meses en una camioneta camper por los estados de New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada hasta llegar a California, siguiendo los pasos de Antonio Armijo que en el siglo XIX abrió una ruta comercial que hoy en día se conoce como The Old Spanish Trail. Continue reading

Pura Vida Catering: Not your typical mother-daughter cooking story

PuraVidaMothers and daughters. So much cooking tradition—not to mention family lore—is passed down from one generation to the next by women working together in the family kitchen. The cooks who took part in Hola Cultura’s TamalFest DC last month shared plenty of these heart-warming recollections. There were a few stirring tales of sons and mothers, grandmothers or entire extended families too. The common denominators: food and family.

The women behind Pura Vida Catering, however, have a slightly different story. While it’s true that both Maria Rivera and Keylah Garcia learned how to cook from their mothers, they owe their cooking careers to another family member: Maria’s son Esteban.

Garcia started helping Rivera out in the kitchen after she began dating Esteban. Four years later, they have a thriving catering business specializing in traditional Costa Rican cooking for public functions and private parties throughout the Washington area.

“Guatemalan food is very similar to Costa Rican food, so after I met them, it didn’t take me much time to learn how to make the few dishes that are different,” Garcia says. “And it’s not just a job I have to do, it’s something I like doing.”

That’s another thing they have in common: a love of cooking. “At first her rice never came out quite right. Lots of people can’t make good rice. But now she makes it almost exactly like mine,” Rivera says of Garcia. They hope to open a restaurant one day. If you missed them at Hola Cultura’s TamalFest DC, or are just hankering for more, you can catch them tomorrow, Sat., May 2, at the Embassy of Costa Rica during the daylong Passport DC festivities. The diplomatic outposts of dozens of other countries are also opening their doors tomorrow including Ecuador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Venzuela. here’s a map of participating embassies.

Watch our interview in Spanish

Pura Vida Catering’s Facebook page is here.

TamalFest Wrap-up


Photos by Antonio Hernandez of

Thank you everyone who came out to Hola Cultura’s first annual TamalFest DC! Our sincerest apologies to those who waited in the long line but didn’t get in. Next year, we’ll see if we can find a larger venue and have better crowd control.

We are making plans to visit with the winning cooks to bring them their prizes and will have another story soon. Meanwhile, here are some photos by Antonio Hernandez of the Electric Llama. There was also a wonderful story about the tamal makers that came out on yesterday. Other coverage in the Washington Post and the Washington Hispanic can be found here, here and here. And a tamal lover on Reddit did us the favor of uploading the names and contact information of the tamal makers here. So if you still have a hankering for tamales, check it out!

Keylahserving    Oaxacans2_byAH   Tamalcooks Salsa   Tamalshot    Oaxacans2_AH   Cowboy    Elena   Marimbaplayers    MarimbaCU  TamalFestCrowd2    Michael   PedroB    Angelica  tamalfestCake

Priest renown for his philosophy of peace and forgiveness spoke at A.U.

A Colombian priest, whose his philosophy of forgiveness helped set the tone of peace talks in his country’s long-running armed conflict, brought his message of forgiveness and reconciliation to American University earlier this month.

Fr. Leonel Narvaez. Photo provided by A.U.

Father Leonel Narvaez, a Consolata Missionary priest, established the Foundation for Reconciliation in Bogota to further his mission of promoting peace in the political sphere. He believes that forgiveness can overcome political conflict or policy disagreements, a philosophy that he brought to his three-year tenure on the Thematic Committee negotiations between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He has also developed peace projects in local Colombian communities, winning awards and recognition both inside Colombia and internationally.

In Washington as part of a U.S. speaking tour, Fr. Narvaez participated in A.U.’s Exploring Social Justice Program on April 9 to discuss his ideology, as well as why it was relevant for young people—particularly stressed-out college students. During the discussion, a student asked Fr. Narvaez how to get in the habit of constantly practicing forgiveness, since forgiving others can sometimes be so difficult.

“[Forgiveness] is difficult. I couldn’t agree with you more there,” Fr. Narvaez replied. “But those that cannot forgive are only contributing to the toxins growing inside them, and [the toxins] come in many forms, like mental illness, stress and physiological difficulties. To forgive is to heal not only relationships, but oneself.”

Fr. Narvaez told the audience that he hopes he can spread his thoughts about peace to a younger generation, and inspire them to incorporate aspects of his mission into their own lives—whether they be political or not, instilling the idea of a culture of peace in younger minds.

—Kristin Thompson

Tamalfest: los ganadores son/winners are…


The tamal makers with MC Pedro Biaggi before the doors opened

The tamal makers with MC Pedro Biaggi of Radio El Zol before the doors opened

TamalFest DC(t) was a rousing success! Thanks to the cooks and to everyone who came out. The line was out the door and around the block. We were overwhelmed with the turnout and the excitement for eating some really good tamales. Come back later. We’ll be posting photos and video highlights of the fest, and contact information for each of the cooks, in case you want to hold a tamaliza or tamaleada of your own! For now, here are the winners of this year’s Fest!

El TamalFest DC fue todo un éxito! ¡Gracias a los cocineros y a todos los que vinieron. La cola iba de la puerta y continuaba alrededor de la manzana. Nos quedamos abrumados por la participación y el entusiasmo por comer algunos de los mejores tamales en el distrito. Vuelva mas tarde. Vamos a publicar fotos y video, así como un resumen del festival. Ademas información y el contacto para cada uno de los cocineros, en caso de que alguien quiera celebrar una tamaliza o tamaleada en su propio patio trasero!


BEST TASTE/Mejor Sabor: Norma Castro & Mauricio Vasquez

Left to Right: Alberto Roblest, director of Hola Cultura; Norma Castro, Mauricio Vasquez and Chef Benjamín Velásquez, TamalFest Ambassador

Left to Right: Alberto Roblest, director of Hola Cultura; Norma Castro, Mauricio Vasquez and Chef Benjamín Velásquez, TamalFest Ambassador


BEST PRESENTATION/Mejor Presentación: Carlos Rosario School Culinary Arts Career Training Academy’s
Miriam Perlacio, Tahiti Monroe & Renee Monroe

Left to right: Tahiti Monroe, Alberto Roblest, Miriam Perlacio, and Renee Monroe

Left to right: Tahiti Monroe, Alberto Roblest, Miriam Perlacio, and Renee Monroe