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Rooster Fights

Rooster fighting is a must-see Friday night event on Isla Grande, located in the heart of the Colombian Caribbean Sea, just an hour away from the city of Cartagena. While the actual fight itself is a part of the local tradition, the real excitement lies in the buildup, the atmosphere, and the people who come to watch.

Native residents take this event seriously, as it's an integral part of their culture, and they invest their passion in both its preparation and execution. The event takes place in a small circular arena known as a 'gallera,' which rapidly fills up with locals and curious tourists. The gallera stands in front of a small house belonging to a native resident, who sets up massive loudspeakers to accompany the fight with the rhythmic sounds of champeta and vallenato.

The fight begins when the two opposing roosters, each owned by a participant, are placed in the center of the cockpit. It concludes when one of the roosters is either dead or severely wounded. Native people invest what little money they have to bet on one of the two roosters. Whether they win or lose, a Costeñita, the local beer, is considered a worthwhile investment before, during, and after the fight.

Gamecocks are raised to fight from a very young age. Before the combat, their combs and wattles are removed, and sometimes their bodies are painted. Their natural spurs are replaced with metal ones, making the injuries they inflict on each other more severe. Some even receive chili pepper to increase their aggression.

Whether one approves or disapproves, cockfighting is an integral part of the local culture and offers a unique experience, at least once in a lifetime.Text: Giulia Collura"

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