Kites in the Caribbean

Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba  

We spent one month traveling through different islands of the Caribbean visiting the kite festivals and meeting with the kite flyers. In all these islands, the kite competition is the major event during the year. The FUNDASHON DI FLI KORSOU from Curacao organized the competition and the flying this year.  They have night flying on Friday night; Saturday, a free flying and Sunday, they have the major competitions:  size of box kites and flat kites,  and design.

Most of kites are made by a team and it is a big secret where it is made and how it is going to be.   They find different strategies for hiding the kites and also, obviously, for sneaky the others groups. The day of the event,  you can see big trucks just at the moment of the specific flying time with the kites under a big top.

In the middle of the afternoon we saw four big trucks bringing four different parts of a big kite.  This one, the winner,  is made of bamboo and plastic, it is box kite hand painted with spray paint.

This huge kite measures 40 mts long, each box is 2 x 2 mts. The team MANGUSA (a supermarket where the director collaborate and pay for it) is lead by NORVIS ROSA, JIMMY MITCHEL, ADEHMIR SPROK, RENZO MARTINA AND SHANTY ROSA with a least 30 employees who went to help to lunch the kite.  It took they 3 months working 2-3 hours every night after work at the supermarket.

This is a wonderful video about this kite:

We also had the opportunity to see the winner of the flat kite belonged to the same team,  congratulation!!!!!!!! 21.60 mts without the tail.

This is also made of bamboo and plastic.

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The winner of the design competition was Hurney Reinilia from The Angels Flying Team with this beautiful kite of the Flintstones car.  Which flew beautiful!!!!!

Thanks to Jorge Jansen for the invitation and Gabriel Mercera for the hospitality and sharing his wonderful kites, also to Thephany Mercera for her photos that I am using.

In Bonaire we had the opportunity of meet many people who are involved in the city and kites so we organized a mini festival where we share our kites with them and meet many children who are eager for kites and many adults who are profound in studding kites.

Our research lead us to find out that in the old days to fly a kite in Bonaire with a black tail meant that someone died; and a kite with two unsteady tails meant that there is an ill person.  We have known that this also happened in Brazil and Malasya.

In Aruba we met Anthony Koolman and Kendrick Lopez who are running a Non Profit Organization to help prevent youngsters from drugs.  They have a football team and found out that the kite festivals are fading because of the competitions,  but they are very sure that the people from Aruba are very fund of kites so they started  a new competition with a lot of participants to gather money for the football team.

We hope this help the Caribbean to fly and fly more.  They have a lot of wind all year and perfect places to fly kites.  Not only the competition is important,  the  free flying give us the opportunity to improve more and more our ability as kiteflyers.

Those who have the time to go and spend some time flying,  this is the perfect place.   They have lovely beaches, lovely people, affordable tourism,  wonderful food and perfect climate.

Inés Elvira Uribe
Asociacion YARIPA
Colombia

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Author:Inés Elvira Uribe

A lifetime educator and event organizer from Medellín Colombia, Inés and her husband Jairo lead the efforts at Yaripa Association and have been actively promoting kite education and culture since the early 1990s.

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