Gabriela Díaz del Castillo, the Queen of Joy in the Carnival of Black and White in Pasto

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Colombia, a country of beautiful women

Although this interview was done last November in preparation for the Carnival of Pasto, this interview shows a little how is Gabriela Días del Castillo, the Queen of the Carnival and how the Carnival itself is prepared.

By Artur Coral-Folleco | Translated by Albeiro Rodas

Pasto (Ipiales Times, Nov. 7, 2007). It is already a tradition that every year in the Carnival of Black and White, the Carnival Corporation (Corpocarnaval) and the judge committee, select the Queen for the feast celebrations at the beginning of the year. In this occasion the selected one was Gabriela Díaz del Castillo, 20 years old, who represents the culture, tradition and games of the carnival in a national and international level.

The new Queen this year is a student of social communication and journalism and she has as a mission to transmit the good elements of the carnivals and promote the good interchange among the Pasto locals and visitors.

Nowadays she is getting in touch with the artisans of the carnival and she was in the organization of the carnival’s agenda for the months to come.

How you got to be interested in participate in the selection of the Queen of the carnival?

I got this interest a year ago, but it was only a dream, because it was something that for the future was not clear. It was at the middle of 2007 that I took the decision to participate seriously and then was the invitation through the mass media and I applied. I went to the interview in Bogotá and here in Pasto. The two teams in charge of the selection of the Queen decided that I was about to become the public image of the carnivals.

What is the meaning to be the Queen of the Carnival?

It is a big responsibility, because to be the Queen of the Carnival is to bring the image of a culture and a great event of our land and our people, something to show in a national and international level. Therefore, my work is of a big responsibility. At the other hand, it is something that gives me a lot happiness, because it gives me a lot of pleasure to know that I have to know the carnival from other perspective, especially from the promotional one.

Although you were selected last week, you started to work, what have you started to do?

I had meetings with the artisans of the carnival, with two organizations, the one of the walkers and the other is of the coaches to have an idea of the process and afterward to transmit it to Bogotá and the rest of the country. That is for a side, by the other I have the mission to lead the campaign Clean Game trying to promote in the Pasto population a compromise for a Carnival in Peace and Joy avoiding problems and difficulties at the last moment, something that is only possible not only throughout a good administration but also if everyone who comes to the Carnival do good. I will start soon to make visits to the communication media and public and private institutions of Bogotá.

How do you see the organization promoted by Corpocarnaval?

Corpocarnaval is doing a good organization in the diffusion of the Carnival, something that is also my mission. There is a good delegation in Bogotá. Since middle October we started with an intensive diffusion. It is well done.

How are you going to coordinate the work as a Queen and your own studies?

I am finishing the semester and it is only to coordinate the agenda with the compromises of being the Queen of the Carnival. Nowadays we are in that process of a good organization and I think it will be done.

I will finish semester the first week of December and I will be fully possessed of the activities that have to see with the Carnival. It is out of my plans to let the university, because my studies facilitate to me the access to the media and I like it.

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