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Chiapas 1998 - a clown and children

Mexico Earthquake Laughter Brigade

Clowns Without Borders is collaborating with the 5th Encuentro Internacional de Clown, and a group of Mexican performers to perform for those impacted by the recent earthquakes in Mexico. The initiative is called the Brigades de Risa, or The Laughter Brigade. The 5th Encuentro Internacional de Clown (International Clown Festival), has been on our calendar for a long time. The Laughter Brigade is organizing performances, and numerous participants from the festival have volunteered. Currently, participating artists include, Andrés Aguilar (Mexico), Los Saltimbuanqui (Mexico), Llily Curcio (Brazil), Daniel Salvi (Brazil), and Moshe Cohen (USA). More artists will join as the performances are organized. The first show will take places in a shelter in Tlalpan on Saturday, October 27th. The Laughter Brigade will tour to shelters in Mexico city and nearby towns in Morelos.


In September, Mexico was impacted by two deadly earthquakes. The first, on September 7th, was magnitude 8.1, and was felt by over 50 million people. Its primary impact was in the Chiapas region. The second, on September 19th, was magnitude 7.1 and was felt by over 30 million people. Its epicenter was 75 miles from the capital, near Puebla. Thousands of people lost their homes, and over 1000 died, in these two earthquakes. As of October, 26th, 2017, Mexico has been impacted by 113 earthquakes in the past thirty days. The continued impact of aftershocks and small earthquakes makes recovery challenging, and can be especially traumatic for children. Many people are at the beginning of a long process of recovery and grief. The Laughter Brigade’s goal is to offer moments of levity, especially for those who have lost their homes.


This project is truly a grassroots collaboration, and will evolve once the artists arrive. Clowns Without Borders’ first project was to Chiapas, Mexico in 1998, and in January 2017 it was the site of our 100th project. You can read Moshe’s journal from that first project here.


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