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LateinamerikaTanz © Stefan Wirblat / Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg

Hamburg is hosting its first Latin America Festival

The Hanseatic city celebrates its traditional ties to South America by a three months long festival packed with events from culture, politics, and business.

With the EU-Latin America Foundation, the Latin Club, the Museum of Ethnology and the scientists at the GIGA Institute and the University of Hamburg, the Elbe city is one of the world’s three big centres for Latin American Studies. Hamburg is also one of the oldest trade partners of South America, and the rise of the port and the economic rise of the city were strongly linked to the rise of trade after the independence of Latin America. The traditionally tight links are also reflected by 20 consulates from Latin American residing in Hamburg and numerous clubs linked to Latin America. New impetus for trade was brought along in August 2013 by the opening of the European Centre for Latin America, EZLA, in Hamburg. Reason enough for the Hanseatic city to host the new festival “Latin America autumn” until December.

Latin America in culture, politics, education and the economy

The Latin American autumn in Hamburg addresses political aspects along with the ways of life and cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean as an exciting and thrilling mix of sound information and fascinating entertainment. More than 40 institutions and organisations will showcase Latin America’s cultural life at 23 venues, rangin from tango lessons to the Mexican festival of the dead. One of the main venues of the festival is the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology. Since its opening. the culture of Latin America as been a focal theme. Exhibitions such as “Heart of the Maya”, “Treasures of the Andes”, and the “Inca gallery” have been attracting many visitors to its heritage premises at Rothenbaumchaussee, where the “Mexican festival of the dead” and the “Latin Festival” have been celebrated for many years and brought to life the Latin American culture in Hamburg.

The driving forces behind the project “Latin America Autumn 2014” were the Latin American consulates in Hamburg, the EU-Latin America / Caribbean Foundation (EU-LAC Foundation) and the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology, which initiated the project in co-operation with and support of Hamburg’s Senate Chancellery.

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Hamburg’s commitment for Latin America has a long tradition. In 1826, Hamburg was among the first ones to recognise the countries of Latin America and to set up trade relations. Twinned with Leon in Nicaragua, Hamburg has signed special trade agreements with many Latin American countries. Numerous associations and institutions support the close bilateral connections, including the city’s Latin America Club founded by Hamburg merchants in 1916. The Clube Brasileiro de Hamburgo is Hamburg’s oldest club of foreigners. Also very active in Hamburg is the German-Mexican society. The city’s more than 15,000 locals of Spanish and Portuguese origin significantly contribute to the cultural, musical, artistic and culinary diversity of Hamburg.

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