They function as a tribe. And that Alcalá de Henares has little, almost nothing, of savanna. And much less of the Amazon rainforest. They are the Tupujume Tribe, an acronym for “you can, together better.” They dress alike, have a battle cry and beat their drums to rebel against prejudice. “Being part of this gives them self-esteem, losing their shame, believing something more than they think they are,” explains proudly Jesús Manuel Soria, the president of this association from Alcala.
They arrive at the Juan Carlos I Park in Madrid –the place where they usually have meetings and deserve them–, in several vans. This group of batucada is made up of fifty people. The oldest, Juan Antonio, is 52 years old. The youngest, Taha, 14. “They all have some kind of disability: Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Autism, Etiology unknown …, but from the beginning I put a condition: that any boy who wanted to play in the batucada, whatever difficulties he had, he could play, “Jesus adds.
Very few had musical knowledge, but thanks to theoretical classes and rehearsals, they do it better every day. They began simply playing with some drumsticks on “Pilates mats cut into discs” to practice and not make noise in the small clubhouse. And although they have only been in a few months, they have already done three live performances: “At the festivities of District III of Alcalá de Henares, in Pinto in a concentration of batucadas and last Saturday in a wedding. This last one was incredible, the best, the they did very well. ”
Rhythms that integrate
Music can be therapeutic for people with intellectual disabilities. According to experts, it improves interpersonal relationships and motor skills, enhances creativity and motivation, and develops the capacity for self-expression: “Andres’s case is very striking … He has a maturation delay and before he was very introverted, he hardly approached you But he has evolved a lot, now he’s able to play in front of a lot of people. ”
When led by Merka, one of the monitors, they pick up his drum… the members of the Tupujume Tribe are completely transformed. With him they rebel, surpass themselves and make noise to show that they, even if they are different, can go as far as they want: “They teach us more than we can teach them,” Jesus concludes.