We first performed in Chiapas in the Zapatista communities in 1996. With the support and commitment of our team leader Rudi Galindo, we’ve been returning to visit these beautiful communities every year since. Our latest trip to Chiapas continues this 20-year relationship.
All projects in chiapas
This project is a continuation of 15 years of CWB projects in Chiapas. Our 3 clowns will be partnering with the Save the Children organization to bring clown performances and physical theater workshops to Indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico.
Rudi returned to Chiapas this winter to work in Zapatista Caricoles with Schools for Chiapas.org. To continue to train and mentor new CWB touring clowns.
Rudi, Michal and Andi-Lou performed in and around Chiapas in January and February. The project included a nine day collaboration with Save the Children.
Nick Trotter writes from Chiapas, Mexico where he joined Rudi Galindo on a Clowns Without Borders project in January 2008.
Rudi returns to Chiapas to clown solo for the first two weeks of 2004.
Because of the smoky atmosphere from the fires burning in this unusually dry season, the sun was a neon orange, and it was framed by a cascade of almost vertical slopes topped with blunt nubs. Long story short, in this otherworldly place, we took an opportunity during the show to sneak into the church and disappear into its cool darkness with giggles and clown glee. We closed the doors and waited a moment, only to emerge with nothing to show for our actions. We were told later, after we ended the show early, that most of the people didn«t like the performance, because it was “of the world”. So the bananas rode out of The Bananas with food for thought and a forlorn cry: “Adios! Los Platanos!”
The Payasos presented 16 shows over 12 days in three different regions of Chiapas. The tour was well organized by the Alianza Civica with contacts and crowds ready for our arrival in every town. The Clowns are Chiapas veterans David Lichtenstein, Rudi Gallindo and newcomer Rock. It’s the family trip as David is traveling with his two children, James, 10 and Lela, 9, who clown a little with David on his solo shows. Rudi has his 15 year old man-child, Izzi, who helps with music and sound effects and clowns with us quite a bit on some shows. All six of us and the show gear are all packed in one small rented car on those beautiful but tortuous mountain roads.
Our audiences are dirt poor Mayan Indians who live on subsistence farming on tiny plots of steep mountain land in Chiapas, Mexico. These people have fought to survive and preserve their culture since the arrival of the Spanish 500 years ago. Tens of thousands of refugees from violent conflict in the last 8 years exasperate endemic poverty.
Caravana de la Risa Tour
Despite the rapprochement of the Zapatistas and newly elected president Fox, tangible reforms and passage of an effective indigenous law replicating the 1996 accords in San Andreas. Congress did just pass a new indigenous law but took most of the key provisions such as territorial rights, community jurisdiction and mineral rights out of the law. Watered down to the extent that opposition (PRD) deputies walked out of the Congress during debates in protest.
As always, and we are always happy to hear people ask us to come back, to bring others to Chiapas. The rewards are great indeed, some of the most beautiful people and country on this planet, and the most innocent audiences ready for clowning.
Show in the afternoon in the INI for some 50 kids, displaced from three communities near Chenalho…stories about discordance amongst the families, no clear leadership amongst three disparate groups living communally in a barn like structure. After the show the kids are treated to popsicles, they all line up and one by one tell the young boy working the ice cream cart what they want. There us great excitement as the piñatas are strung up. The kids are separated by age group and each group rings around their piñata strung up over the branch of a large tree. Faces squirm and explode with each stick swing, miss, hit and then scramble on the ground in a big cloud of dust when the piñata breaks. A couple of social workers try to infiltrate the scrimmage to calm the fury of hands scooping candy but they are unable. A huge bag of cheap plastic toys are distributed, the kids are looking happy.