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.