Concerts, shows, dance schools: salsa is a staple of daily life in Cali, Colombia. But the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed silence and sunk the city’s iconic sector. “It’s really sad to see so many places closed, because Cali’s flame has gone out a bit. But it had to be done because this wave and this pandemic came unexpectedly“, deplores Angie Osorio, salsa dancer.
The two million inhabitants of Cali lived on musicians, dancers, teachers, designers, but the pandemic has hit the cultural sector hard. 40% of jobs have been cut. “I used to sew for seven, eight, ten salsa schools. Now with the pandemic if I sewed for three schools that’s a lot“, regrets Marta Perdomo, tailor for salsa dancers. After detecting the first case of coronavirus in March, Colombia declared a state of health emergency and restricted physical contact: banned parties. After more than seven months , Cali struggles to get back on track.