ONE MORE UNINTERRUPTED EDITION OF FIESTA DEL FUEGO
When in April, 1981, Joel James, founding director of the Casa del Caribe, along with an enthusiast group of artists of the city decided to make a call for this festival of popular cultures for the first time, they did not suspect that this gathering would reach the scale it has today. Today it is an alternative space where it takes place an expansion of the processes of formation of national Cuban identity in particular and of the entire region. Thus, every new edition of the Festival del Caribe is like the unveiling of that peculiarity of extraordinary dimensions which is to be Caribbean and to which, in an organic and natural way, Bonaire belongs to, a small Caribbean island located south of the Caribbean Sea, off the western coast of Venezuela and part of the Netherlands Antilles.
This uninterrupted 37th edition of Fiesta del Fuego (The Fire Fest)—as it is also known— takes place under very special conditions, since the institution that calls and organizes its celebration is celebrating 35 years of existence.
Thus, the Festival del Caribe will not only pay homage to Bonaire, but also will bring up to date the contributions of the Casa del Caribe for the studies and projections of the Caribbean as a natural region.
Santiago is the most Caribbean of all Cuban cities. Either its privileged geographical location or its peculiar undulatory topography, as well as its historical background, and also its future, are intersected by a common factor: Santiago people, undoubtedly a special type of Cuban and Caribbean folk, visible in their individual and collective dimensions.
From Casa del Caribe we have always made quite clear that our Caribbean pride should not lead us to state that we are the capital of the Caribbean. No, we are not the capital of the Caribbean because, like Santiago, there are many other cities in the Caribbean. In turn, it is probable that we may have that condition only during the celebration of the festival and the carnivals, due to the human and cultures concentration of immense proportions that come together during those magic days of July.
De todos los países del Caribe han arribado delegaciones en los treinta y cinco años de la Fiesta del Fuego.
Orlando Vergés, director de la Casa del Caribe.