Circus for Children Returns to San Pancho Promising Many Surprises

Norma A. Hernandez - On Bahia Magazine
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February 17, 2014

Donated mostly by Cirque du Soleil, equipment such as trapezes, ropes and nets are in place where the children practice their circus techniques. (Photo: Rodolfo Preciado)

This is a unique and original project that has changed the lives of many children in the town of San Francisco (San Pancho), Nayarit. Circus for Children, the second edition, will be held on March 21, 2014, in the Plaza del Sol, and promises many surprises.

There will be a follow-up Children's Art Benefit on March 22 by EntreAmigos.

Created in 2011 by Gilles Ste'Croix, a founder and current Creative Director of Cirque du Soleil, the Circus for Children brings together 50 children from the communities of San Pancho and Sayulita.

Circus for Children is part of the Education Community Center EntreAmigos, directed by Nicole Swedlow, an enthusiastic resident of the village who has been working hard for the community since 2006.

In an interview, Swedlow said the project began in 2011, when Gilles Ste'Croix took a team of professional circus performers to San Pancho to train and work with the children. Over the years he has continued to support with training and workshops.

Selected to participate in the show are children who live in San Pancho and Sayulita and many of them have been part of the program since its inception. It involves five days a week for one to three hours a day, depending on their age and interest level.

(Photo: Rodolfo Preciado)

"One of the children, a young man 13 years old, is already making decisions about going to school or not and therefore requires a lot of encouragement to continue. We are in a rural town which means that the children may not have many opportunities to go to school or study things they really like, coupled with the cost of education and transportation which causes them to stop their studies. We try to give these children tools that can serve them in making a better future," states Swedlow.

Nicole Swedlow, Director of Educational Community Center EntreAmigos. (Photo: Rodolfo Preciado)

The Community Education Center is a building of 1,500 square meters, which shows an example of sustainability in San Pancho.

Donated mostly by Cirque du Soleil, equipment such as trapezes, ropes and nets are in place where the children practice their circus techniques, "but the real purpose of the project," Swedlow said, "is forming communication skills, teamwork, discipline and self-esteem, all while having fun."

Circus for Children is a program that operates under the direction of Leonardo Rinaldi Figueroa (Cóndor) and André Simard, who is the current advisor. André Simard is an icon in the world of gymnastics and responsible for most of the design of aerobatic acts in the Cirque du Soleil.

"The combination of such great talent is even larger than many dream possible and the children of San Pancho are preparing to share their talents with the audience on March 21 and the art exhibition on March 22," she concluded.

Tickets to attend this great show are available now and there are only 700 available, so reserve your tickets now. For more information and to purchase tickets, send an email to Nicole Swedlow.

EntreAmigos Community Center is an educational non-profit organization that works to form links between cultures and communities through the creation of educational programs for children and families.

Show revenues are used to support educational programs at EntreAmigos, so we hope you will purchase your donation tickets today for some great performances by the children.

Translated and edited by Team Angels

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