Enjoy traditional music in Texas

Hi there! Today I am writing about the presence of my topic in social media. First of all I have found an incredible webpage that was made with the purpose of encouraging performance and appreciation of traditional music. I choose it because I have never talk about that particular area and it could be a great opportunity to start.


property of autin friends of traditional music

They webpage is named Austin Friends of traditional music. This organization has its origins in the autumn of 1974 when a group of musicians joined to produce a traditional music convention with competition for pickers and singers.  Since then they organize different festivals and events with the main objective of passing along traditional music to the next generation of enthusiastic musicians. One of the things that I like the most is how easy you can become a membership. They are open to everyone, it doesn’t matter you country, culture or your age. The only thing they ask for is a small contribution and to give of your time and energy. They are always looking for volunteer so if you have time go and help!About their presence in social media. They are on Facebook and on twitter. In their Facebook they have a lot of pictures and videos so everybody can see how their festivals look like and how much fun they have.  They also inform about upcoming events and what they do in the latest ones. It’s not necessary to be a musician to go there; they also organize other activities such as dancing nights in which no experience is required. A part from dancing and playing music they also make meals with all type of food in which vegetarians and allergic are welcome. In their twitter account they post about their most recent news, they also inform about their musicians and concrete time and date of their event. They refresh information almost every day so anyone would lose the opportunity to go. There are also pictures and videos of their musicians. If you have time, you live on Texas or are just interested in music you must check their website. Their camps and meals are a great opportunity to spend the day with the smallest ones in a place in which fun I guaranteed. This weekend they are having the 2014 string band festival. Here I include the details of the performers and also you can check pictures of last year’s one.

Friday – Dance ’til You Drop

  • 7:00PM – Forked Deer with Rich MacMath, caller (Old-time square dance)
  • 8:15PM – JWW & The Prospectors (Western Swing)
  • 9:30PM –  Paul Brown & The Mostly Mountain Boys with Marshall Wilborn, John Schwab ,  Phil Jamison caller. (Music from the Appalachian Piedmont)


  •   Workshops  11AM – 2PM
  •   2PM – Bottom Dollar String Band (Bluegrass)
  •   3PM – Son Armado (South of the Border)
  •   4PM-  Silas Lowe (Bluegrass)
  •   5PM – The  Jankies (Surpirses)
  •   6PM – Alfalfa Brothers Reunion (Texas Bluegrass Legends)
  •   7PM – Gumbo Ce Soir (Cajun dance music)
  •   8PM – Barn Owls with Sharon Isaac, caller (Old time square dance)
  •   9PM – James Hand with Beth Chrisman and Melissa Carper (Serious Country Music)
  • 10PM – Paul Brown & The Mostly Mountain Boys (Music from the Appalachian Piedmont)


There is not a single festival on the whole Spain about which no one talks about in the social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even flickr receive posts, text and image nearly every second during these events. Those towns hose festivals are more popular even make contests to post the best photo, video or story about them. Specifically San Fermín, the festival that takes place in Pamplona (Navarra), is becoming more and more present on social media every year that passes by.

A lot of bloggers such as The Vagabond International have post about it. This blogger has travelled through Spain and Latin America and decided to stop in Pamplona to spend a few days on the worldwide known festival San Fermin. In this post A Foreigner’s Guide to San Fermin: A Few Wise Words before You Start Chugging Sangria she gives some tips on what to do, wear, eat and drink in order to not get lost in such a crowded event.

Owned by Ruben Albarrán

Owned by Ruben Albarrán

Instagram plays a very important role on to what San Fermin on the social media concerns. If you put the hashtag #sanfermin, 41.350 publications appear, and if you put #sanfermin2014, 7.099. It has even taken place a contest on San Fermin´s photos. The contest was held by the Spanish bank Santander and 954 photos were presented to it. The best among them according to the jury was “Enfilando la Estafeta” by Rubén Albarrán Beltrán that we can see on or right.

San Fermín has also its official Facebook page. Here, during the festivity all the events that take place during the nine days are posted, containing also information about the further year’s San Fermin festival.

San Fermin´s presence on twitter is something that worths mentioning. Apart from the hashtags, there are a lot of twitter accounts that talk exclusively about the festival. For example San Fermin Live is a very important one but there is also San Fermin and  San Fermin Info that have a lot of folowers.

Salvadorans on the Web

In El Salvador, socia networking has become one of the important mediums of communication, not only for communicating between individuals, but for sharing the same identity and love we feel about our country.  The social networks have helped us to share the beauty of our country. I spoke on one of my previous post about how people saw El Salvador from an external perspective. One day I was speaking to this tourist from the States that I met before, and he was visiting for the first time my country.IMG_0166Speaking about how much he did like the things he saw in El Salvador, such as landscapes and beaches, even the city, he confessed me that before being interested in visiting my country, he thought that it consisted only on jungle and some towns… inside the jungle. After seeing some pictures on Facebook and Instagram of some people of El Salvador he learned that it did not consisted in some towns surrounded by a big jungle, he saw actually the beautifulness the country has inside. Cities, beaches, nice restaurants, and beautiful landscapes.  Social networks have not only help us to know us better between Salvadorans, it also serves us as a tool to let know many people from other countries that El Salvador is not only a country where you probably will get mugged the instant moment you get out of the airport when visiting. In fact, that is not likely to happen. 20140105_174842 Instagram, for example, is one of the most used social networks in my country. apart from friends, there are many accounts created with the purpose of sharing pictures of the most beautiful pictures of my country. accounts such as El Salvador Impressive is an example of this accounts that share and promote tourism in El Salvador. They also share some tour guides and tips. Our way of communicating has been evolving even more with the years, and our passion for sharing our love for our country will be always growing. Thanks to social networks we as Salvadorans have found a way to show the world the other side of the coin, what is the beauty hidden behind that mask of stereotypes. All the pictures above are from the most beautiful places of El Salvador, they are all been taken by me, and are shared on social networks as well. Talking about social networks, follow us on twitter @CitizensOTW_5 and become a citizen!


In Venezuela social media used to be a free means of the people. If you go on google and search for Venezuela what comes up is the situation that the country is going through at this time. It is rampant, as if it was the only thing relevant to Venezuela. The truth is that that is not the only thing that needs to be recognized about such a beautiful country but it is very important that awareness is raised about what is happening there. How might this have anything to do with culture? It has everything to do with culture because what is happening to Venezuela right now is greatly affecting it. The way of life, the people, the atmosphere is all changing due to the situation. In other words, Venezuelan culture is being negatively affected because of the situation. What is happening in Venezuela is very elaborate. Here I have posted a video that explains what has been happening with more detail but in this post we will focus on what the illegimate government has done to social media. In the very beginning of president Chávez presidency, he started to limit the freedom of press very passively. The first thing that the government openly did to sensor media was that in 2002 when Chávez closed down the TV news station RCTV (Radio Caracas Televisión Internacional) because they had shown on air a Coup d’etat (golpe de estado) against the government that happened on April 11th of 2002 even when he order to not show the situation on television.

The situation has gotten increasingly worst as the years have gone by, and even more now under the power of the illegitimate president Nicolas Maduro. At the beginning of this year there were protest almost every month mostly led by the young Venezuelan students. This was a peaceful protest but the government attacked the students physically and killed many of the  university students who were just standing up for the freedom of their country. They also started taking random students in the protest as prisoners.

People protesting about freedom of press. Picture owned by: International Press Institute

People protesting about freedom of press.       Picture owned by: International Press Institute

The government though, did not allow this to go out of the country by any form of media at all. Not even in Venezuela did he allow the news to cover what was happening, even though it was evident by living there. But overall, the freedom of press was completely taken away. So the people started turning to social media in order to let the world know what was happening in Venezuela. We did not want to fight alone.

Maduro chasing twitter saying “You are the only one left” as the TV and computer and such are sitting in the back with chains.                              Picture owned by: Implied Inference

Facebook, twitter, youtube, Instagram all became the way that Venezuela could get the news out. Eventually, the government started censuring these too. People could not access certain social media applications and if you did you could be in great danger. Many journalists who went against the government and published videos on youtube would disappear or known to be taken by the government. Eventually twitter seemed to be the only media, not only social but any media at all, that was not controlled or blocked form the government. This fight for freedom is still going on today. The people are suffering greatly because they are being forced to live under a dictator and a forming communist government. The protests have stopped but the corruption still goes on. This situation has greatly affected culture because Venezuela is not the same as it was. The way people live has changed dramatically and consequently so has the culture. It is important that we know and are aware of what is going on in these countries who are trapped by the government with no freedoms, not even the freedom from hunger or fear. Even if it has to be through twitter because all other means are taken away, Venezuela fights for freedom. Always.

Picture owned by: El Venezolano Houston


“La Quema del Diablo” is a magical – religious celebration Guatemalan . Its origin seems to be much more legendary than real and is based in Concepción party . It takes place every December 7 , at 18 am .


Since this date is exactly nine months of memorial Birth of the Virgin Mary and coincides with the celebration of the advent of the birth of Christ in a spiritual clean that through the trash symbol is intended La-Quema-del-Diabloto ward off all uncleanness is done burning bonfires with trash or paper figures symbolizing devil evil.

The tradition is to take the older or worn things that are in the home; pretending to do a thorough cleaning in the home. Most Guatemalans burn newspapers together and used throughout the year . So much so that the next day pieces of paper are falling from the sky , the smell of smoke still present long after the morning. The sky turns gray at night, smoke from garbage, to the point that much of Guatemala starry sky is not looking. The party has been criticized by environmental groups who see it as a source of contamination and Protestant groups who consider unfounded worship the devil. Despite these criticisms, and advice of the government of Guatemala ‘s population continue this tradition which in a few hours ago pollution quadruple what you can do in a day .

312812_397653960312487_401445629_nProtestant groups are growing everyday because a lot of people is against the damage of the world. They usually use social media to do propaganda because its were the young people get the information most of the time.


its a facebook group where people comment and criticize the special event for guatemalan culture. they post pictures and try to make the people join them to grow in number, and make a concience in the population on what is happening in the planet.


it is a non profit organization, they just spend there free time posting and doing propaganda not to remoce the tradición but to celebrate it in a different way. Not burning and contamining the planet.


the well known company called “Pepsi” has a campaing algo un social media, giving adrices on how to celebrate the festivity without hurting the beautiful country and planet where we live.


Mariana Rodas

Photographs: Fernando Garcia