In Mexico, Some Kids Choose Life on the Street to Escape Abuse
Marc Silver and Sarah Shebbeare - ABC/Univision
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April 30, 2013

Laugh and the World Laughs with You (UNews)

From the Day of the Dead to Revolution Day, Mexico is well known for its colorful celebrations, and Children's Day is no exception. Celebrated on April 30th, "Día del Niño" is a day of nationwide festivities established to honor children. The school curriculum is replaced with a day of fun and games. Parks and public squares become a hive of activity, and shopping malls are filled to the brim with piñatas and balloons to celebrate the country's youngest citizens.

It's a big date in the calendar of a professional clown: making people laugh is the order of the day. But for Angel, a clown working at one Mexico City's busiest traffic intersections, it's bittersweet. He is one of an estimated 15,000 children living on the streets of Mexico City. He earns the few pesos he needs to get by performing as a clown amidst the hubbub of the city's unremitting traffic. For hour upon hour, Angel performs tricks at the traffic lights. His repertoire is limited but his spirit is unflappable. As he threatens to pour buckets of confetti onto the windscreens of passing cars, he is invariably sworn at and only very occasionally gets a laugh or a few coins.

... Children's Day will pass Angel by like any other but he considers himself lucky. He isn't addicted to solvents like most of his friends and makes a living by making people laugh. Living with hunger and filth, his friends sniff cloth soaked in gasoline to escape the reality of their so-called childhoods. For most of Angel's friends, prostitution is their daily bread and butter.

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