This past Wednesday MeCha celebrated Dia de los muertos on campus with a day filled with face painting, altar competition, and dancers representing the Aztecs and Bolivia.
Here I met Silvestre Ramos who was one of the performers for Bolivia. Silvestre is a third year student majoring in International Business. He is part of Caporales San Simon USA a fraternity who dedicates their time to learn how to dance Bolivian dances like Caporales and to learn about the history and culture of Bolivia. The San Simon fraternity originated from Bolivia and has spread from Washington D.C. over to Southern California. This specific chapter in Orange County was founded 3 years ago in the city of Tustin. There are approximately 50 plus dancers who range from age 2 to 40 in Orange County.
Bolivian dance is a mixture of Spaniard and African roots. Costumes like the one worn for Caporales in the upper right hand picture range from $250-350 which does not include shipping. All their costumes are made in Bolivia and then shipped to the U.S. Men wear boots with bells which represent the sounds of the chains that slaves would wear when they were taken across South America. Sombreros or hats represents the Spanish influence as also represented in the detail of the pants that males wear.