Luís Eduardo Hernández, worldwide known as ‘El Mulato’, the maximum icon of salsa in Cali, and the extraordinary dancer Angie Osorio, 10 times-world salsa- champion, were chosen by CORFECALI to be the official image of the 63rd Cali Fair and flag bearers of this event: the Salsódromo.
This choice gives honors the magnificent work that our dancers have done for decades, making the name of our city shine in all corners of the world. They have achieved the best our cultural values associated with caleñidad to be projected internationally, turning Cali into a world symbol of joy, salsa and human warmth. Without a doubt, they are the best cultural ambassadors of our city, and a pride of our region and our country.
‘El Mulato’ and Angie embody the history of our artists, their strength in the face of adversity, their discipline, their limitless talent and the full conviction that, through art, lives can be transformed. Both are children of the barrio, heirs of traditions and popular culture, authentic representatives of salsa and caleñidad. Both are extraordinary role models for childhood and youth of our nation, and the evident proof that dreams come true.
‘El Mulato’ was born into a humble family from Caldas, who moved to Cali in 1973 looking for better opportunities. He is the youngest of nine brothers, a mother who taught him the value of solidarity and love to the neighbor, and an honest and hard-working father who, in addition to being an employee of the National Railways, was also a serenaderer, and from whom he learned the value of responsibility, discipline and loyalty.
“We arrived in Cali when I was just a five-year-old boy, to El Diamante neighborhood, which was the first neighborhood in the Aguablanca District. I remember that difficulties and poverty were evident, but I also remember that I was always an immensely happy child. My parents formed me with religious, ethical and moral values that, during my adolescence and youth, freed me from falling into the risks that our boys face in the popular neighborhoods. I was saved by the education at home. My mother always said: we are poor and black, but honest”.
“Those same values have guided my life on a path of work, loyalty, honesty and discipline. That is what has allowed me to break all kinds of mental and social barriers, and it is what has led me, thank God, to become the successful person I am”, he says.
Angie Osorio is a dancer born and raised in the Ricardo Balcázar neighborhood, in the Aguablanca District, who started in the world of Salsa as a 7-year-old girl. In her words she constantly refers to trust in God, gratitude to ‘El Mulato’ and Salsa, and infinite love for her art and family. Today, at 28, she is considered one of the best salsa dancers in the world.
“I remember that, from a very young age, every time I listened to salsa I immediately started to move. It was a kind of reflex or natural instinct. Then my mother took me to the community booth in the neighborhood, where a boy named Withman, had created a branch of Swing Latino and wanted to teach all the children in the area to dance salsa. When I was 14 or 15 years old, I was a member of Swing Latino’s elite group, and all the triumphs began to arrive: 10 world championships, and the honor of dancing with Jennifer López, in one of the most important shows in the world, such as the Super Bowl. Those are the most extraordinary experiences that have happened in my life”.
his is a tribute to our artists and to the popular culture of Cali, who during five decades have found in salsa and the joy of our people, the perfect mix to express themselves to the world.