We’re into week three of the second phase of our Nicaragua tour. The breezy town of San Marcos is a refreshing break after the sweltering heat of Leon. We’re working and staying at Los Quinchos, an orphanage that has numerous programs to educate and empower about 30 kids with nowhere else to go. We are teaching them every day, as well as doing shows around the town.
This is quite a change from the fast paced, sweat infused mission that was Leon. We teach on the same property that were staying at, so there is much less commuting. They weather is considerably cooler (Thank you thank you thank you) and there’s almost no mosquitos. Hooray!
As this is a place PWB has been visiting for 5 years, the children already have a bunch of circus skills, so it is a real treat to start working on some high level stuff with them. About 7 kids can already ride a unicycle. Sam has been teaching them hopping, and idling now. There’s a handful of jugglers, some staff and poi spinners, lots of talented hoopers, and a huge group of boys that absolutely rock it with Diabolo! The enthusiasm these kids have for circus arts is remarkable. Every time we see them earlier in the day they ask “hay circo hoy!?” Is there circus today!? Si hay. Yes there is 🙂
So far we’ve done a few school shows and one at a senior center. The senior center show was lovely, and a nice change. Instead of hundreds of high pitched screams, we got slow claps, hearty chuckles, and wide, consistent smiles. This show was on International Women’s Day, so we made a bunch of origami flowers to give to the women. It was sweet and special and gave us some warm fuzzies inside. One of the men there was a musician, and after the show he sang us songs and played on his harmonica as a way of saying thanks. It was nice to hang out afterward and bond with the people we had just entertained. They were super appreciative.
On March 9th we celebrated my 30th birthday! What a fun day! Since we didn’t have a show that morning, we went to the beautiful Laguna de Apoya for swimming, lunch, and a surprise piñata! Yaaay! When we returned to Los Quinchos, I let the kids shave my head before the workshop. I had had shoulder length hair, so it was quite a spectacle. They loved it, and started calling my El Pelon. “Baldy”
Now we are shifting our attention towards preparing the kids of Los Quinchos for their show. Near the end of our stay here, they will be doing their very own performance! The creation process is a fun and challenging time. We try to find a fine line between providing ideas and directing them, and letting them come up with there own material. Kids have great ideas if you just give them a platform to express them. By doing so, it empowers them, boosting confidence and creativity.
We’ll keep you posted with more material as it comes out, and of course photos of the kids doing their final show. Thanks for reading, and spread that joy around!