Wetenschap - 15 maart 2001

Latin-American heart beats in new club Que Pasa

Latin-American heart beats in new club Que Pasa

Wageningen has a new club: Que Pasa, which started a few years ago in the Hoogstraat as a restaurant, has become a Latin-American club. In the weekends the cafe is open and you can come to meet friends and dance to all kinds Latin music. During the week the Salsa dance school offers courses.

Harmen Boerboom, who owns the place, explained that the restaurant was not profitable enough to continue. But since its opening Que Pasa has attracted a specific clientele, interested in Salsa music. Boerboom: "Many of our visitors came for the special ambience, which some described as 'Latin Soul'. These positive reactions inspired us to start the Salsa dance lessons." Special Salsa dance nights also attracted many customers. Some visitors wondered why Que Pasa did not become a real club. With the inevitable closure of the restaurant this became an attractive alternative. In the first three months about 180 people have joined the club. They pay 25 guilders a year, although a monthly membership is available for five guilders. The first general meeting will be held in a few weeks' time.

Heartbeat

The club depends on volunteers. Louis Jarrin is one of them. He is a committee member and barman. Jarrin: "I feel the heart of South America beating in this place. And I hear the same from many of our visitors. Half of the customers have Latin American roots. The other half consists of Dutch, Africans and Asians. Among the regulars are Dutch and international students as well as foreigners who have settled in the Netherlands. This mix makes it attractive." The Salsa dancing school is active three nights a week. These nights are well attended, even by people who do not come for the lessons.

On 24 March Que Pasa is holding a Brazilian Carnival and the club has plans for more Brazilian nights. Boerboom: "The atmosphere is appreciated, people bring souvenirs to decorate the place and send CDs from South America that we can't get here. We are gradually outgrowing this place."

Que Pasa, Hoogstraat 6, Wageningen. Open Fri. and Sat. from 22.00; door closes at 01.30 South American time. Salsa lessons Tue., Wed., Thu. from 19.00. For information call 427197 (during opening hours).

Yvonne de Hilster

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