Postcards from Belize: Grupo Kese-Kese at Costa Maya Festival 2011

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Several music and dance groups from Belize and other Central American countries performed at the Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro this past weekend.

The best surprise for me at the festival, other than the Belize Dance Company: Kese-Kese.

Kese-Kese is a percussion group from Mexico. Except: their clothes are African and so are their instruments.

Mid-performance, the main drummer paused to introduce the group to the audience. He explained, in Spanish, how Kese Kese’s music is African-inspired. Then, he went on to thank the African continent for its huge contribution to music, and for being a constant source of inspiration to the group. How cool is that?!

The highlight of Kese-Kese: their dancer. I have much respect for her – it takes some serious courage and talent to get up there and dance like an African. πŸ™‚


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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning writer, photographer, and blogger specializing in the Caribbean region. Her work is regularly published in major travel publications, including AFAR, CNN, Delta Sky, and Lonely Planet, among others. A self-professed "culture-holic," Lily left her native Ethiopia at age one, fast developing a passion for the expat life. In 2008, she ditched her US corporate law career for the road and created Sunshine and Stilettosβ€” a travel photography blog showcasing authentic ways to experience the Caribbean, through culture and nature. Lily has since partnered with multiple travel brands and tourism boards, and also authors major print guidebooks on three Caribbean destinations, including Belize, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

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  1. Yaffa 8 August, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

    Awesome trip to Belize, and your photos are exceptional. Waiting with great anticipation for more posts!!


  2. Marilyn Cutkelvin 8 August, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

    wow!… wish I was there to see that… cool indeed… I’m sure they were impressive!

  3. Julie 8 August, 2011 at 10:33 PM #

    That’s fantastic! I’d never heard of this group. Do you know if there’s any place where we can learn more about them and their music? Love the photos!

  4. Lebawit Lily Girma 8 August, 2011 at 10:53 PM #

    @ Yaffa, thank you!! Will be sharing lots more, thanks for following! πŸ™‚

    @Marilyn, you would’ve loved them… I was mesmerized! In fact all these cultural groups were SO fantastic.

    @Julie, thanks!! I hadn’t either, it was such a surprise, I think everyone in the audience was surprised actually! I wanted to talk to them but by time I got backstage they’d already changed and left!! (: I assumed I’d find them online but have not found even a website…I’ll see if I can find out from one of the festival organizers here.

  5. Rapo Green 10 August, 2011 at 1:26 AM #

    Hello Lily! How are you? πŸ™‚ My name is Rapo Green and I play with Kese Kese! : D your pictures are amazing! I love them! the dancer stolen camera! haha or not as we say in English haha
    You do not have other pictures where you see the power of the drums? oh yeah! haha
    Unfortunately we have no website but we remain connected by facebook. If you are offered something:
    My facebook is
    or look for me as Rapo Green
    Greetings and hope to return soon to San Pedro! πŸ™‚

    Rapo Green of Kese Kese

  6. Lebawit Lily Girma 10 August, 2011 at 9:21 AM #

    Hi Rapo! Thanks for getting in touch ! πŸ™‚ I will send you a message on FB. And oh yes I definitely have the power of the drum in my photos, I will be posting all photos from Costa Maya soon and will share some on your page as well. πŸ™‚ Keep playing that great African sound!! πŸ™‚

  7. Rapo Green 10 August, 2011 at 3:48 PM #

    πŸ™‚ Sounds like a good idea, because I loved your photos, your style, are great. See you soon:)
    And we will continue rocking the afro power.
    Many greetings! πŸ™‚

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