Back to WhereThereBeDragons.com

Learning about the instruments of merengue and bachata

For the last few days we attended classes at the local culture center of Santiago where we learned about the instruments that compose a typical merengue band: la güira, el acordeón, y la tambora. The first day we listened to a group of teenage boys, who have chosen to pursue music, play many merengue songs. Each of the boys began playing their instruments three or four years ago. We then took turns learning how to play each of the instruments. Chloe and Sadie almost mastered the tambora by the time we left. Katherine rocked the güira and Thea loved the acordeón and others danced to the music. The next day we returned to the center of culture to learn about two other instruments that can accompany a typical merengue band: el bajo and las congas. A dancing instructor joined us during class and he taught us some different merengue steps. By the end of our second two hour session at the center, we were sad to say bye to our new friends, but so thankful that they dedicated time to teaching us about an important part of their culture and life.

Thea