Have you tried the South American Salsa? Or tasted an arepa, a delicious hot, cornbread snack from Columbia? Well, now is your chance. This year, the taste, sound and spirit of Latin America is coming to the Bermondsey Carnival. Plaza Latina festival, the largest Latin American festival in the UK, attracts over 10,000 people and is organised every year by the dedicated staff at Carnaval del Pueblo, a community group based in Elephant & Castle. And this year, from midday on the 30th June, this Latin cultural extravaganza is coming to Southwark. Expect entertainment from Latin American singing stars, piñata-making, delicious Columbian coffee and much, much more.
The Bermondsey Carnival has been a part of the Southwark community calendar for nearly 150 years. Throughout two world wars and innumerable changes in culture and landscape, this annual event has been a source of local pride and popular showcase for the spirit of the Bermondsey community. With an ever increasing and varied Latin American population in South London the Plaza Latina is a colourful representation of this portion of the community. With street-food (comida), from Columbia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru you won’t leave the festival hungry. On stage there will be a host of Latin American singers and DJs playing iconic salsa and tropical tunes. You’ll be able to have a go yourself, with demonstrations of traditional Latin dance and workshops to make sure you can enjoy the fiesta in true Latin American style. And if you really want to get into the spirit of things, costumes are encouraged!
The Carnaval del Pueblo centre in Elephant & Castle operates as a hub of Latin American culture and inclusion. The centre is involved in promoting the community with workshops and public appearances as well offering inclusion services and support to Latin American migrants. Nuala Ridell-Morales, Director of Carnaval del Pueblo, had this to say,
“We are excited and honoured to return to the original birth place of Carnaval del Pueblo, at Bermondsey Carnival with a 2018 Plaza Latina. We look forward to sharing the very best of our Latin American cultural heritage”
If you like the sound of Plaza Latina, make sure you keep an eye on the Carnaval del Pueblo Twitter account for updates of events in London.
Saturday 30 June
How to get there:
Buses: 1,47, 188, 199, 225, 381, 395, P13
Nearest tube: Canada Water, Bermondsey
Entrance on Jamaica Road, Lower Road, Southwark Park Road
Will you be going to the Bermondsey Carnival for some salsa and arepas this year? Let us know in the comments below!