Mestre Carlos was not only our teacher but a very close friend. I will always remember the day when Palhaço called me to tell me that he passed away. September 27, 2006. I cried a lot. I was sad because I lost a friend and teacher. I couldn’t comprehend our lose. I didn’t understand the enormity of who we lost. It was just too big.
The first day after his death our house became the mourning space for all of the capoeirtas. We all just sat there. Speechless. But we were there together, like the family that we have always been.
Once the word got out of his passing, the phone calls started to come in. People calling us to confirm what they heard. We became not only the mourners but the consolers.
But Mestre Carlos was not going down like that. People were not going to wear black to a somber funeral. He was going to have us celebrate his life. So for the next week we danced, we drummed and we played capoeira. It was the ultimate celebration of Carlos’ life.
And we haven’t stopped. What has now become a new tradition, Mission Cultural Center hosts ‘A Day for Carlos.’ On this day Mestre Carlos’ capoeira students, drummers and dancers come together to celebrate his incredible life. The event started off with a capoeira roda in the lobby of the center. After the roda we went upstairs for live drumming and dance class. And, of course, as always, we brought the celebration to the streets. Here are some videos of the event.