Johann Seren Castillo

Our artistic and choreographic director was born and nurtured in the folk culture and environment of Intibucá.

Profesor Johann Seren Castillo

Our artistic director and choreographer Professor Johann Seren was born in Concepción, Intibucá. Since his earliest years, with his mother from Concepción and his father Jesús de Otoro, Johann grew up emmersed in the Intibucanan culture of La Esperanza. He graduated from the Escuela Normal de Occidente, where he concentrated his studies on the traditional folk dance and lore of Honduras.

Starting in 2001 he took part as instructore in the folk group Lentercala and in projection groups within the ranks of Lentercala group until ]the end of 2007. Aftewards he became instructed dancers in groups including the Escuela aplicación Pedro Nufio, the Instituto Departamental de Occidente, the Escuela Normal de Occidente, the Instituto Héctor Cisneros, and the Centro Básico Honduras, Icelaca, among others. This experience was the reason why Professor Francisco Tosta Velasquez past the baton of instructor, when in 2008 they took on a project with a group of friends, dancers and parents of dancers, together with the Municipality of La Esperanza, which is now known as the Ballet Folklórico Oro Lenca.

Today, Johann Seren is a recognized instructor not only at national level but also at international level after partnering with the folk dance group Grupo Folklórico Raíces Hondureñas, in the state of Maryland (also allied with Marca Pais Honduras). He took Oro Lenca for the first time to travel as a cultural ambassador outside of the borders of Central America to Washington DC in . The group went on tour to the United States for a second time in , and for a third time in . The tours were conducted in collaboration with the Embassy of Honduras, the President of the Republic, SAG, and with the unconditional support of Raíces Hondureñas. The group has since toured in Nicaragua, Chile and Mexico. In the years to come we plan to continue sharing our love and pride for Honduran folklore internationally in Europe and North and South America. Asia too, when we are invited.

The group has received recognition and major awards at notable festivals such as The Great Pereke in San Pedro Sula and YUMKAX in La Ceiba, among others. Professor Seren presides over the organizing committee of the folk festival El Grande de Grandes that is now a tradition in La Esperanza. Our instruction is becoming known nationally with support and recognition from educational institutions, the department of Intibucá and national instutions and as a jury of folklore events. In recognition of this and of another native son of the region, the folklorist Rafael Manzanares Aguilar, La Esperanza was declared by executive decree the Capital of Criollo Folklore in Honduras.

In December 2013, Johann Seren was awarded the 2013 National Cultural Volunteer Award by the Honduran Ministry of Culture, Art, and Sport and the Spanish Embassy in recognition for his work in restoring and sharing folklore traditions of Honduras.

Voluntario del Año en el Palacio Presidencial Antiguo
Profesor Johann Seren Castillo receiving national cultural volunteer award.

Johann Seren currently working on research and compilation of dances and costumes of Intibucá for incorporation into the office of the national folklore. In 2013, he documented and resurrected the traditional Creole costume from the village of Guajiniquil in the munincipality of Conception. More recently, he researched and resurrected the traditional creole costume of the village Villa de Camasca, also in Concepción.

Costumes of Villa de Camasca and Guajiniquil
Costumes of Villa de Camasca and Guajiniquil

Oro Lenca and the country bestows honor to he who merits honor, Professor Johann Seren, a true and authentic Cultural Ambassador of our national folklore.