By Emily Ball

After spending the last few weeks teaching all the Quinchos were more or less ready to perform the first ever ‘Circo Los Quinchos’. The previous 2 days we had been preparing and working with all the children on their various acts, everything from a well rehearsed and impressive acrobalance act and human pyramids right down to the youngest boys practicing their plate spinning and hand held stilts skills. The Italian colored circus tent at the back of the Los Quinchos pizzeria was busy with kids arriving, last minute rehearsals and getting glitter onto their faces.

Los Quinchos Show Running Order

Starting about half an hour late – right on Nicaraguan time – the children were ready to perform to each other, the staff of Los Quinchos and some visitors from the US. After warming up the crowd, we kicked off with a hoop act by some of the girls…followed by so many more talented and amazing acts, about an hour and a half show in the end! It was incredible to see the kids perform after so little time learning circus, and there was some great and professional behavior – one of the boys who was on pizza cooking duty managed to perform two acts and still cook pizza in between! We had one student who had learnt to unicycle in approx. 6 hours of constant practicing and performed a great act even though he had hurt his foot the day before, and one of the boys who had fractured his wrist playing football performed his staff number with one hand! We also were treated to a dance number from some of the older boys ,and finished in fine style with a tumbling and pyramid number from all the girls.

After some emotional thank you’s, goodbyes, and presenting the children with the circus kit we are leaving with them, it was time to pack up and get ready to leave. A few of us managed to squeeze in a last trip to the boys’ home to say a last goodbye and eat a last mango or 3…and then we were on our way!

Although we were all sad to be leaving such lovely children, we were equally excited to be able to give two of the older boys the chance to come with us to Granada to the school there. Lazaro and Miguel showed an awe-inspiring enthusiasm for learning circus as well as an astounding knack for learning very quickly! Being two of Los Quichos’ educators already (for bread and hammock making) they were an obvious choice to give this opportunity, and they leapt at the offer of 3 more days of learning circus. So when the bus from the Escuela turned up to collect us, they were ready to go and helped us pile in our (seemingly never ending) bags and kit…and off we trundled towards Granada and the Escuela De Comedia y Mimo.

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