The heartbeat of Central America

It’s a hot humid day, the banana plants and palms combine with the soggy sweaty heat to make you feel like you’re at the beach but you’re not, you’re at least 2 hours drive from the coast. You wake up sweating because you forgot to turn on the fan last night. You don’t even notice the mosquitos anymore, or maybe the constant layer of sweat keeps them at bay. You pick up the bucket and dunk it into the tub full of 2 day old water the mosquitos made their home, it was running low, tonight must be water night. In this area you only get running water for a few hours from about 2-4 am. Standing in the shower with your bucket of water you hold a small bowlful above your head. It doesn’t matter how hot you were when you woke up, you never get used to this. Within 2 seconds you go from dying of heat stroke to hypothermia. Showers are never that short in the states. Suddenly with this cold splash to reality you can hear the world wake up.

The neighbors turn up the music. I had grown fond of reggaeton, it takes the average dance-pop beat and throws a Latino twist on it. Change everything from English to Spanish and add a few sirens and you’ve got yourself an entire culture, like Latino hip hop and dance. The beat had the same rhythm in just about every song, I knew because as I would walk street after street the songs and lyrics changed, but the beat stayed constant. You feel like you’re always at a party, it’s a happy tropical type of music. Suddenly the economic troubles and the corrupt governments don’t seem so bad. It was almost as if it were ingrained in the atmosphere, right there with the humidity, the palm trees and banana plants. Here are a few examples of this kind of music. Lemme know what you think


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