A Night at “Casos y Cachos Llaneros”: A Journey Home and a Celebration of Inclusivity

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On March 3, 2021 I had the privilege of attending a truly captivating play, “Casos y Cachos Llaneros,” presented by Descolonizarte TEATRO at the Orlando Science Center in Orlando, FL. This production was not just a play; it was an immersive experience that transported me straight to the heart of the Colombian-Venezuelan plains, a place very close to my heart as it’s the land of my father’s origins.

The play was an enchanting blend of shadow theater, live sound effects, and stirring live Llanera music that brought to life the mischievous and humorous tall tales and oral stories of the cowboys from the plains. The narrative, derived from a book of the same name that was supported by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, resonated with me on a deeply personal level, reminding me of my roots and the rich storytelling tradition of my ancestors. My father was from that region of the country and I felt I was transported to talking to him, my grandfather and so many others that used storytelling as the true way of interacting. Not true social media and electronic devices like it is done today. I honestly felt like I was sitting around the kitchen, drinking strong black coffee and hearing them brag about stories that probably only happened in their minds! 

Jhon Moreno Riaño

What made the evening even more special was the Q&A session and community conversation that followed, featuring the author, Jhon Moreno Riaño, who had traveled all the way from Colombia. Engaging with the creative mind behind the stories that had moved me so profoundly was an experience I’ll cherish forever.

But beyond the nostalgic journey back to my cultural roots, what truly took my breath away was the inclusivity of the event. The play was presented entirely in Spanish, with English subtitles, making it accessible to a diverse audience. Moreover, the commitment to accessibility for people with disabilities was exemplary, with accommodations made in both languages. I was especially moved to see members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community actively participating in the Q&A, a testament to the inclusive environment created by the organizers.

I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dicapta for their outstanding work in making this event accessible to all. Their efforts remind us that inclusivity in the arts is not just a possibility but a necessity. This experience speaks to my passion for advocating for accessibility and language access in all public events, from the Super Bowl to local theater productions.

Casos y Cachos Llaneros

A big thank you to United Arts of Central Florida for supporting such a meaningful and inclusive production. The evening was a beautiful reminder of the power of the arts to unite us across cultures and abilities. It would be an honor to collaborate with Dicapta and other organizations committed to inclusivity in future projects. Together, we can make the arts a welcoming space for everyone.