Carnaval has been hosted in the Dominican Republic since it’s establishment as a Spanish colony in the 16th century. The pre lenten celebration derived from the Catholic tradition handed down by the Spanish colonizers combines elements of African rhythms and costumes incorporated by the slaves imported from that continent and their descendants. Central to the celebration is the “Diablo Cojuelo”, or limping devil, whose mischievous grin adorns the colorful costumes paraded through the streets. Winning independence from Haiti on February 27, 1844, the celebration of the Carnaval has since taken on a greater meaning as a manifestation of pride and patriotism. The Dominican immigrant community in Madrid continues this tradition by taking advantage of the festivities for Dominican independence to also celebrate a Carnaval where the rhythms of merengue and bachata, and the shouts of pride in being Dominican mix with the colorful costumes and playful cheer seen back on the island.