Watching these men survive and struggle to morph their clubs into a dazzling Carnival spectacle is a treat to the spirit. This cycle is the same each year. But in the upcoming season, the drama will be one for the ages.
— La Oruga y la Mariposa

 

Lazaro, grew up playing in his father’s prominent Conga Los Hoyos. An uncontested twenty-year tenure and alcoholism deteriorated his father’s leadership and sunk the group and the neighborhood into disgrace.This is not his only challenge; recently his wife was sent by the government to serve as a doctor in Venezuela, leaving Lazaro to raise his triplet toddlers on his own. 

 

 

Tiburon, is the chauvinistic disciplinarian and ambitious leader of Conga San Agustin, Lazaro’s biggest rival. A sworn communist and a rabid competitor, he represents the old guard. With questionable tactics of bribery and corruption, Tiburon keeps winning the Carnival year after year, after year.

The Poet, writes songs for the Conga parades, turning the Cuban reality and struggle into short lines, so called social commentaries. He is a fascinating yet contradictory character, an idol in his community,
and a family man, who grew up in extreme poverty in Santiago’s worst ghettos. He sells

vegetables at the corner of his house. 

 

Tata, "El Hombre Carnaval", is a rarity: a Conga leader who has consistently chosen to challenge the boundaries of neighborhood territories. Tata is not tied to any particular neighborhood, not anymore. He has decided to live by one creed only - ‘turning water into wine’. He says his only purpose in life is to go where he believes he is needed most and help rescue dying Carnival traditions

 

 

 

 

Tenten, is not yet at peace with the fact that his days as a Conga player are over. Now that he’s better known as the garlic vendor of the neighborhood, his days go by much slower. Providing poor neighbors with condiments for improvised suppers only became his self-appointed duty three years ago. Before that, he was the oldest drummer on the most coveted Conga group of all: the once celebrated and perennial champs, Conga Los Hoyos.

 

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