One People, One Heartbeat

Creating Connections through Art

One People, One Heartbeat

Creating Connections through Art

Karen Alejandra Garza Figueroa

Global Youth Leaders (2018)

I would like the viewers to see the incredible connection that music is capable of making. In this specific case, the connection is between two entire countries. The Colombian vallenato that was born in Valledupar has impacted entire generations in my hometown, Monterrey, Mexico (3,310 km from one another). The vallenato music (whose characteristic instrument is the accordion and the guacharaca) have marked the cultural landscape of my city (represented in the painting by the mountain).

Vallenato music has created urban communities and lifestyles, mainly of the marginalized people in Monterrey, the connection is between the two countries’ working classes. The singers of this genre in Colombia even call Monterrey the second home of vallenato. In my personal life, vallenato music was introduced to me by my father, who was born in “la colonia Independencia” one of the most representative places of Colombian music in Monterrey. This music accompanies people every day on their way to work, in their daily tasks, in family celebrations and in many other important events. The relationship that I want to highlight is that love that we Mexicans born in Monterrey have for Colombian music, we appreciate its culture, we learn from the interactions presented in the songs, from the landscapes, from the deep feeling of the Colombians that is captured in the lyrics that are sung.

Music has the power to bring people together even if we are thousands of miles apart. Music makes you connect with your reality, which at the same time is the reality of someone else you may have never meet and yet you are united by the same feeling. That’s what art is all about, the connection. In these complex times of physical distance, let’s let the music bring us closer.


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