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Americas Now > Cover Story

Americas Now 03/30/2015 Urban voices


03-30-2015 08:45 BJT

More than 1.7 million Salvadorans live in the United States with about 240,000 residing in the Washington, D.C. area. Most of them arrived in the 1980s and 1990s, fleeing a country torn by a civil war that left over 75,000 people dead.

Among those who emigrated to the U.S. were Cindy Zavala’s parents. They found a new home in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in the country’s capital, where many of their compatriots established themselves. She was born and raised in Washington, but grew up very attached to the culture and community of El Salvador, symbolized by the musical fundraisers her father organized, in which the rhythm of Cumbia was always a feature.

Recently graduated from college, Cindy works for a local news station where she does traffic and weather reports. But she dreams of big things to come, and she just launched a solo musical career as La Salvadoreina, the Queen of Cumbia from El Salvador. This young woman is determined to bring together the better of her two worlds: the culture her immigrant family left behind and the new one they embraced. Her only plight is to save the party, one Cumbia at a time.

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