“When I talk to Sandra after the workshop, to ask how it went, she tells me she has never seen some of the participants smile before, let alone laugh. I hadn’t considered that possibility earlier in the day, though I did note a few faces that were slow to thaw into humorous expression.”
–Moshe Cohen, CWB – USA founder and performing artist
Two days after the 2018 eruptions of Volcán de Fuego, CWB received an invitation to perform for survivors. In addition to touring a clown show, the team also led workshops for social workers and psychologists. The Guatemalan Departments of Education and Human Rights invited CWB to continue these workshops in 2019.
CWB – USA founder Moshe Cohen traveled to Guatemala to lead two types of workshops: One designed for educators and psychologists working with affected populations, and one for local artists. Together, social service providers and artists can strengthen their communities through laughter.
Additionally, Moshe partnered with two local artists to perform in Escuintla, a community impacted by the volcano.
CWB – USA has worked in Guatemala and with Guatemalan refugees since the organization was formed. This has included refugees along the migrant path through Mexico, refugees in Chiapas, Mexico, people impacted by gang violence within Guatemala, and most recently, survivors of the 2018 volcanic eruption. The context of displacement and marginalization is complex. This tour responded to an invitation from teachers, social workers, and psychologists so that they may better understand the role of clowns and the impact of levity.
This tour was in partnership with the Department of Education and Department of Human Rights. We offer our ongoing gratitude to our local logistician Ricardo Bamacá, for his steadfast support of CWB projects in Guatemala.
Moshe Cohen, a.k.a. Mr. YooWho, is the founder of Clowns Without Borders USA. Since 1987, he has performed with CWB in Burma/Myanmar, Kosovo, South Africa, Nepal, Guatemala, Haiti, Croatia, The Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas, South Sudan, and Baton Rouge, LA. Moshe continues to perform and teach internationally, outside of his work with CWB. Over the past 30 years, he has given over 2000 performances in more than 40 countries. He teaches workshops exploring the expression of personal humor through physical theater and contemporary clown.
Ricardo Bamaca was our non-performing team member on this tour. He has acted as a logistician for Clowns Without Borders – Spain and USA. Ricardo was the link between CWB – USA, the Ministry of Public Health, local clowns, and audience members.
CWB – USA follows United Nations naming conventions for all countries, nations, and territories, along with the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To read more about our Code of Ethics, click here.