He is Diego, but for the Castellers Team is “Quintana” which is his last name. Quintana is from
Chile and arrived to Barcelona 10 mounths ago. He knew previously about the Castellers. Just
the time that he arrives to Bcn, he saw a live performance and whith his own words: “I felt that thrill”.
Later that month, while Quintana was strolling in the neighborhood, he saw a poster in a
convenience store, inviting people to go to “Can Musons” venue to make “Castells” (Castles –
He remmeber his first day in “Can Musons” that he felt like a kick to the brain. Lots of people
talking in Catalan, a language that at the moment he could barely understand, and he was
introduced to a lot of people, meaning he had a ton of new names to remember. He recieved a
red “faixa” (long soft scarf around the waist), which is normally used by newcomers instead
the black one, he was given an explanation of the risks and how to take care of hiself and
others, and then he joined a “pinya” (the base of the castle). He was thrilled. Since that day he
have been participating in the “Colla” (the team) each week.
As he have been gaining more experience, Quintana have been acting more and more as
“primer” (First) and “segon” (second) lateral. He likes how a “castell” castle has a unique
complexity, where everybody counts.
Quintana likes the community built around the castellers. It’s a support group and a social
group. There’s a lot going on in the Colla, apart from the Castells. Their also take care of the
“Guarnit” (Decoration) of the Vila de Gracia square during one of the biggest holidays of
Gracia, the “Festa Major de Gracia”(festivity). He even participated a bit in the making of the
decorations. The whole process takes a lot of work and commitment, and there is a group of
people working on this the whole year, just for this holiday alone. Now he is helping in a group
of people in charge of the food for the “colla”(the team) during important events.
Overall, what I like about the CVG(Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia abbreviation) and of all of the
other “collas”(teams) is the social activity they produce, let alone their work keeping fresh a
tradition that is more than two hundred years old. Quintana also learned about the
importance these kind of institutions have for the social tissue of neighborhoods and cities.
There’s a lot of value in that. It makes him think about the ways one could achieve this in his
own country, Chile(South America), with our own neighborhoods and traditions.
“The people from the “Colla”, well, they are a lot of people I could have never ever met under
other circumstances. People from many different backgrounds. They mean to me what a
healthy neighborhood, family-like looks like.
Thanks to the colla I’ve improved my catalan language skills, and I have visited a lot of towns
around Barcelona during their most important holidays. I’ve also had a lot of fun doing
Castells. I’m grateful for that too.
Because it’s exciting to see all of the things I’ve mentioned, directly. You’ll get to see the raw
process of how human castles are rehearsed and built, and our excitement while doing so. All
of this from from the first seats. You can also try wearing a faixa and experience it yourself!
this is one of those one-of-a-kind experiences you will hardly see somewhere else”.