Conga de los Hoyos: 120 years in a frenzy of drums and bugles
By Alina Veranes
This 2022, on the 120th birthday of the famous Conga de los Hoyos, its last appearance in her hometown of Santiago de Cuba was simply tremendous, overwhelming and jubilant as ever.
The good children of the city have attested to this and announced they will always repeat their doses of joy, especially in this July of celebrations for the 507th anniversary of the city, the day of its patron saint.
From that distant 1902 to the current one, the cultural and popular entity of the also called Heroic City has gained credentials and fame throughout the island with a community social imprint and a deeply rooted legacy for successive generations.
There is relief and at the same time current creativity, with the best of tradition and the heritage inherited from their ancestors. An authentic frenzy of drums and bugles -with the special brilliance of the Chinese trumpet, the Conga de los Hoyos, pride of the people of Santiago and all Cubans, because in its march full of strength, rhythm and joy, the idiosyncrasy is also expressed and the courage of its protagonists.
Declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation on July 28, 2019, to say Conga de los Hoyos is also to speak of the extraordinary Santiago de Cuba carnival, the emblem of this popular festival in the country, with its Cocuyé, its Paseo del Tivolí, the great Conga of Saint Agustíne… it’s a trademark for the world.
Tradition says this manifestation arose spontaneously, along with the development of Carnival. Today, the so-called Group of Centenarians, highly respected and loved, make up its body. The popular entity grown from the intense tide of people who follow it with fervor.
It is no stranger to research and contributions of culture to its performance and is nourished by a wide variety of knowledge, including letters. That is why it is capable of summoning various sectors of the social fabric that surrounds it, offering a varied range of creations that include its sacred roots and innovations.
Its influence, so genuine and Cuban, is also projected throughout Cuba, as is already known, and to the Caribbean area whose famous sea unites us. And to the world, why not?