An estimated 500,000 people filled a one-mile-long central Madrid avenue to accompany a mobile live performance by Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Calle 13, reported Spanish public television service RTVE.

The forecast rain failed to appear, and La Marcha, as the four-hour dancing procession is called, was packed at the end of a five-day tribute - called VivAmérica - to the "discovery" of Latin America by the Spanish.

This year is also the bicentenary of the independence of most Latin American countries, so in practice the celebration was more about 'liberation' than about the Day of the Race, as it is known in Latin America, and the Oct. 12 Day of Hispanity (or Hispanic Day) as it is now called in Spain.

As Cuba's Los Van Van had done the previous year, Calle 13 and a group of percussionists and guitarists traveled on an open truck from Madrid's Atocha rail station, past the Prado Art Museum, to the Cibeles roundabout.

Groups of immigrant dancers from 30 migrant associations in Spain, wearing their local Latin American costumes, took part in the colorful parade. Spaniards, tourists and Latin American residents joined dancers from Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Peru, and several other countries in the fourth annual VivAmérica festival which is arranged by Madrid's Casa de América, run by Madrid's city and regional governments.

The first four days of VivAmérica saw politicians, artists, and cultural analysts from more than 20 countries hold conferences, exhibitions, and film projections in the Casa de America and other venues.

Smaller versions of VivAmérica are also held in Cadiz and Zaragoza, Spain, and in Barranquilla, Colombia.

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