Los Quinchos – San Marcos – 18-23rd Feb

Words from Aileen – mini-Tour Coordinator and workshop leader in San Marcos

Zelinda was stoked with the work we did, and Miguel, one of the educators and former Quincho that we’ve known for years, was impressed with how quickly the kids caught on and their final show. He helped refine the diabolo act that the kids were creating. We were lucky to have him and a former Yahoska, Belen, visit the kids on Saturday and watch the show.

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I’m not sure when Los Quinchos changed the profile of their organization, but it was sometime in the last year. Now, all of the boys they take in are boys they find that are consuming drugs. In the past, it was kids in the street, abandoned, but not necessarily just users. They had boys as young as 6 that were smoking pot and drinking juaro (hard liquor here) and huffing glue in the streets of Managua. The girls are still either found in the streets of Managua, victims of being sold by their families, sexual violation from family members, abandoned, homeless and using drugs, all the horrific stuff you can imagine.

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The kids have a lot of self consciousness, that is something I noticed with this group in particular in comparison to previous years, which is of course totally natural. Also, their trauma is palpable. I think because they are all new to the project, we could feel that things were still fresh for them. But with that, their enthusiasm was amazing – I was really impressed with the girls and how they didn’t want to stop learning. They kept wanting to repeat acrobacia, handstands, acroyoga..the girls got emotional when we were leaving and it reminded me of being young, and how when you’re young even a few days can be transforming and make an impact, as opposed to being an adult and a week just zips by…those kids are heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I truly hope the PWB tours can continue in Nicaragua. I think they would benefit greatly and take advantage of a month of circus, and a crew of volunteers can always cover more ground than just 2 people. I am very happy and proud with what we did in such a short time, and would be very curious to see how they advance with a month of attention and instruction. I was super moved by these kids and regretted not being able to spend more time with them.

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