In 2011, the co-founder of Cirque Du Soleil and Creative Director, Gilles Ste-Croix and his wife Monique Voyer gave light to the creation of a show with the children of the community center “Entreamigos” in San Francisco Nayarit with the intention to fundraise for its programs. This was made possible with the support of Circo del Mundo de Cirque du Soleil who donated the equipment training equipment, friends and international artists who came from Canada, the company Cirrus Cirkus as well as over 100 local volunteers. In March 2011, the first performance of Circo de los Niños was “Cuando aún no existían los sueños”.
As a result of this first creation of the project, Gilles Ste-Croix and Monique Voyer expanded their support for Circo de los Niños as a Circo Social project offering continued training to the children originally involved. This first impulse grew to become what is now the Circus Arts school, called Circo de los Niños de San Pancho.
In the spring of 2014, as a result of 24 months of training and intence focus, a new 90 minutes production titled “ORALE” was created and presented for a larger public. Sponsored and directed by its founders with the continued support of donated training and production equipment from Cirque du Solei and Solotech, the colaborations of Circo de los Niños united more than 100 local volunteers and families of the participants. In this presentation, which took place in the town´s Plaza del Sol with over 800 audience members, the 60 young students were the stars of the night. Thereafter, the show was invited to present at the Mayan Palace in Puerto Vallarta which helped once again to raise money for “Entre Amigos”.
Performing in “Orale” gave the students the opportunity to closely experience the creative and technical process of a prodution, including direction, choreography, design and technical aspects . A unique and valuable experience for many, especially for this town and its community who continue to be inspired and be invested in the arts for the community.
In the summer of 2014, the project solicited permission from Nayarit Government to use one of the previously abandoned warehouses in the town. Since the original location inside “Entreamigos” in 2011, the program has outgrown its space. After receiving permission from the state and a basic remodel of an old agro-industrial warehouse, the new Bodega Circo became the home of Circo de los Niños de San Pancho in 2014. New instructors native to Mexico came to join the team and the program was redesigned and implemented. In the first cycle at the new space, the program enrolled 67 students. Again, thanks to the generous donation of Gilles St. Croix, Monique Voyer and private donors who made this transition possible.
Once inside its new space, the program completed its first two cycles with a new production “Dar a Luz” which was created and performed within the same space. The new production “Give Light” tells the history of the project- the birth of an idea which for years was a dream and in our new space has materialized to reality! This show included over 70 young artists participating in the training and creative process.
Currently, more than 140 children are enrolled in Circo de los Niños programs. Recently, the new Bodega Danza (adjacent to the Circo class space) was inaugurated as yet another performance and training space offered to the local and visiting community. Apart from obtaining space for its school, Circo de los Niños operates a cultural center, open to proposals from individual performers and groups with interest in participating in the project.
The former agro-industrial warehouses now called Las Fabricas (Bodegas) were built by former Mexican president Luis Echeverria who envisioned a thriving social-economic plan for the town with these old factories that produced coconut oil, dried fruit, soaps and dairy products. In the 70´s, some warehouses were abandoned due to political changes in the country. In the next decades, these buildings were occupied while some stayed empty. In the summer of 2014 (?), the Circo de los Niños de San Pancho received permission from the State of Nayarit to install its first training space for up to 80 students.
Since then, Circo de los Niños de San Pancho occupies over 1200 square meters of warehouse space where more than 150 students learn the Circus Arts, Dance and Performance Arts. Our space is equipped with donation of previously used acrobatic, gymnastic, and aerial equipment from the Cirque du Solei Foundation. In 2015, the new dance area as well as a black-box stage were built offering opportunites for more classes and a new performance space for the community.
Circus area, Dance studio and Forum/Stage are available for private rentals and special events. We accept proposals for instructors in varios Performance (Theater, Dance and Circus Arts) who are interested in offering classes. For more information and details on rental/usage agreements, contact us directly at CircoDeLosNinosDeSanPancho@gmail.com.
Circo de los Niños de San Pancho is a non-profit Civil Association which provides Circus Arts classes to children and young adults. Our programs are structured to build self-confidence and self-awareness, gain physical capacities and explore imagination in young people through the arts. In order to ensure the programs are available to the local community, Circo de los Niños raises money to subsidize the cost of our professional instructors and daily operations.
We acknowledge and cherish our founder and primary benefactor, Gilles Ste. Croix, one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, for his vision, his steadfast efforts working with the students and for his generous financial support of the Circo. The programs are conceived and inspired by Gilles and his wife Monique Voyer. Yet the sustainability of the project requires a well-rounded model in order to thrive and building a solid foundation of support is our current focus.
Join the Dream Catchers:
Our mission, at Circo de los Niños de San Pancho, is to encourage the wholistic development of children and young adults by improving their artistic, creative, motor and communication skills as well as strengthening their confidence in taking risks in a secure and safe environment. Circo de los Niños de San Pancho offers a quality program in Circus Arts training with a focus on empowerment at the human level.
The Dream Catcher legend holds that its web catches good dreams and keeps them safe for the dreamer to reach his or her vision. At Circo de los Niños, we aspire to awaken the imagination and creativity of each young person.
Join the Dream Catchers at Circo de los Niños and help a child reach his potential and experience the magic!
Circo de los Niños de San Pancho is grateful for the community of volunteers who have contributed hundreds of hours to support many of our ongoing activities. Our crew of volunteers do everything from building stages, installing sound and light, sewing costumes, feeding our young artists, painting signs, offer translation services, answering calls to selling event tickets and tee-shirts. There are many ways to be part of this dynamic project as a Volunteer whether at our annual event or during program cycles as well as on-going maintenance throughout the year.
To volunteer, fill the form here or send an email to Circodelosninossp@gmail.com.
Welcome to the crew!
All contributions are welcomed. We appreciate your support no matter how large or small.
When you become part of the Circo de los Niños troupe, you are helping to weave a strong web that will nurture a child's creativity and the confidence of real accomplishment. Your generosity matters!
For more information on how you can help, please visit our Donations page.
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Government of Jalisco
The Ministry of Culture of Jalisco brings a message of peace and appropriation of public spaces to children and adolescents in several municipalities through circus arts. Read more >>>
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Coordinator: Glades Castro Perreras
Ave. Tercer Mundo #15
San Francisco (San Pancho)
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