Latina Empowerment at Sag Harbor Dance and Music Celebration

Carolina Fuentes – aka Mila Tina – at the OLE East End Pachanga For Peace and Unity concert at the Bay Street Theater on Saturday, March 11, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Carolina Fuentes via RiverheadLOCAL en Español)

The Pachanga 2018 ¡Viva La Mujer! celebration, organized by OLA of Eastern Long Island, will be held on Friday, April 6 at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. The nonprofit is dedicated to promoting the social, economic, cultural and educational development of the East End’s Latino community.

The “pachanga” – “party” – will celebrate with dance and live music the mission of the organization, as well as the women who form it and those it advocates for, said Minerva Pérez, executive director of OLA of Eastern Long Island.

“This event is a bridge to highlight all the positive things our Latino community brings to our area,” said Pérez. “Getting together to share our laughter and music reminds us of what really matters.”

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Carolina Fuentes, a Chilean drummer, percussionist and audiovisual artist, will present her “Mila Tina” project, a drums and percussion show featuring rhythms from different continents, video and lighting effects that seek to empower women with its message. Fuentes’ style also combines elements of martial arts with dance to add impact to the presentation.

“OLA’s Pachanga invites all members of our community to join us to dance and listen to Carolina’s music in her ‘Mila Tina’ show, as well as the always fantastic Mambo Loco,” said Pérez.

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The event will also draw attention to the #MeToo movement, which started last year and has allowed many women to tell their stories of sexual harassment or abuse.

For Fuentes, a sexual abuse survivor who until now had not dared to tell her story, the occasion is especially significant.

“To me, it is very important to uplift the voices of women who have undergone trauma and help them get back on their feet,” she said.

In a recent interview, Fuentes said that she decided to launch her “Mila Tina” project after her experience, and that its main focus is to empower women. Whether through projections such as images of Mother Earth or by channeling emotions through her timbales, drums, congas and other instruments, she said that her music transcends entertainment and seeks to raise awareness.

“Going through that experience is one of the most challenging battles I have ever had to overcome,” said Fuentes. “I found my voice in music and also a way to heal and inspire others, transforming us from victims to strong survivors with a purpose.”

Pérez, who is supporting Fuentes in telling her story, said that the artist is one of those women who have found the strength to stand back up to keep fighting and growing after a traumatic experience.

“Carolina shows us that strength,” said Pérez. “She has been able to continue advancing and moving forward.”

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Pachanga 2018 ¡Viva La Mujer! welcomes both men and women, and will take place at the Bay Street Theater, located at 1 Bay St. in Sag Harbor on April 6 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.

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