Picture from the official website
Every year in February, the city of Barranquilla, Colombia hosts one of the most beautiful carnivals in the world: El Carnaval de Barranquilla.  This carnival has been declared by UNESCO as one of the “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. That’s a mouthful, but it really is amazing! It’s important to share this with our students not only because of its recognition but also because it’s an opportunity to bring some language to the classes in a colorful way. It’s also worth mentioning that this is the city where Shakira was born and raised.
I am a big fun of using Google Earth when doing cultural explorations. You can also add the use of a play passport. With your students, first locate Colombia and the Barranquilla. Bring the language alive by asking questions such as:
¿En qué continente está Colombia?
¿Qué lengua se habla en Colombia?
¿Dónde está Barranquilla?
¿En el norte o en el sur?
¿Qué pasa en Barranquilla en febrero?
Carnival time is a happy one in Barranquilla. Dances, parades and even children celebration in their schools. Here is a short video of “El Carnaval de Barranquilla”.
One of the most iconic characters is “La Marimonda”. It’s a funny character – a combination of monkey and elephant.
Here is a cute video of two children trying to figure out what “La Marimonda” really is.
Children recreate Marimonda dances at school.
Here is a video of a professional group of dancers doing “La Marimonda” dance.
A video of the history of the Marimonda.
Now it’s your turn! Have your students create their own Marimondas and get ready to celebrate carnival in your class with this story and activities. You can find it on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Have fun!