First "Revolution Avenue Youth Festival" A Success
On Saturday February 23, the National Youth Secretariat of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the FMLN Cultural Secretariat sponsored the first Festival Juvenil Avenida Revolución (Revolution Avenue Youth Festival) in San Salvador. The 12-hour (10:00am-10:00pm) festival was attended by thousands of youth and their families, and created a festive and safe atmosphere where youth could skateboard a street course, listen to live music, make arts and crafts, or peruse the revolutionary museum and hand-made goods – all free of charge. Popular music acts “La Sexta Virgada” and “Adhesivo” rounded out the night of hip-hop, punk, reggae, metal, and ska, keeping the crowd packed in front of the stage at the International Center for Fairs and Conventions (CIFCO) throughout the event. The festival was organized to counter negative stereotypes about Salvadoran youth, as well as to provide space for independent musicians and artists, and to foster public dialogue with the FMLN around the party's vision for social transformation and well-being. Margarito Nolasco, National Youth Secretary for the leftist party said of the event, “we wanted to demonstrate that Salvadoran youth are not violent, that we like to live in peace”. FMLN Presidential candidate and current Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén was in attendance to show his support for the youth festival. He circulated through the festival, chatting with participants and taking lots of photos with the youth in attendance.