In Colombia the fourth clown humanitarian mission began, with the support of Clowns Without Borders USA, Steps Clown Bogota-Colombia Cali and this time Cali Clown joined. The mission includes the participation of clowns Audry, United States; Gabriela, Mexico; Connie, Ilana, Wilmar, Daisy, and Lucho, all of Colombia. They are developing a clown show to bring joy and fun to children living in areas of extreme poverty and high-risk situations in Bogota and Cali.
The home team trains in a beautiful house of a theater group that performs community service in the neighborhood Lourdes. This group is called THIRD ACT and they are a wonderful group that welcomed us to develop our first project stage in Bogotá.
Practice began in the morning after a planning meeting. We put all our costumes, instruments and toys on the stage and began to define what we would use in the show. Later, many games and improvisations and especially many, many laughs – good fodder for the creation of our show.
We continue testing and refining the show. Ilana and Connie shared a funny magic number with a newspaper. Audrey with her number of tapes [belts?]. Wilmar and I did juggling and some numbers we have learned in other projects with other Clowns Without Borders – like magic with toilet paper which was taught to us by Adrian Mejia, who is always present among us and remembered with much love.
We have several events started in a car where two clowns who are picking up the rest of the troops spend big ups and downs until the occupants distract the driver clown and have a fun crash in slow motion, then discover that the public is ready to go show, do a presentation of each of the clowns first Popote clown the gordote “Wilmar” then Ilana Banana “Illana” Chula “Gaby” Connie and the last say and I call them as I call forgiveness he forgot me and the rest of the troop reminds Luchoo ….
Finished our presentation started with a funny hats choreography with Chula, Popote and Lucho. We also have magic number, another search of a butterfly, ribbons and more.
Chula, appearing between numbers with great tenderness and mischief now have a show we want to do much desire our first show will be at the community center of Lourdes.
The first show is performed in a depressed area of downtown Bogota, it was attended by approximately 250 children in the sector, 65 of them with disabilities who attend a center specialized for their condition, which means that their needs for socialization are met solely between children who share this characteristic. Hence the day allowed an encounter between children with disabilities with others who are part of the average, this fact contributed to overcome social barriers, recognize and respect as various people and relate to the skills that we have as human beings.
To illustrate this, let me share with you two stories from the show. The first occurs before the show. A girl with Downs syndrome, sitting alone in a corner can be seen outside the coliseum. She does not want to go because she says she is afraid of clowns. A staff person takes her hand and offers to introduce her to someone, reassuring her that all will be well for her, pleasantly girl discovers that this person is a clown and she stays to watch the show.
The second story takes place within the show when one of the clowns invites a child to the stage to perform a magic. The child, named Julian, by his disability has difficulty speaking and understanding directions, among others. However, the clown manages to get Julian not only to do his part number but then creates another form of communication and understanding of what is happening. Finally, Julian is applauded by all and to integrate with the group only he was seen having emotional experience, his smile replaced the words I could not say. A paper crane became his best narrator, while Julian repeated what I had done on stage through it and the kids hugged again and again.
This experience taught me that we all want to be known and recognized for our capabilities and not all we can do. Thanks Julian and Lucho!
-Daisy Toro Calderón
Our first show of the day was at a kindergarten in the town of Ciudad Bolívar our public were 98 toddlers with their teachers and some parents. When we started half the audience was crying and half smiling and gradually became interested by the nonsense we did clowns especially enjoyed it an act who suggested Audrey where a banana center stage and one by one clowns try to collect as another clown “Audry” crouching makes everyone laugh funny sounds very much in this act.
After the show the children asked if we could dance and taught us the song CHUCHU CHU CHU GUA GUA. We try to dance while watching the more excited the audience was a very cheerful teacher who showed us every step. We were thinking it might be a good idea to have her on the show.
Then we went to this place for our second function was at a community organization called Mornes and serves youth with restoration of rights which we thought was a good idea to do a song in the show starts to sound like Rap and Gabi with Lucho began the show singing or at least trying Bad boys watched the somewhat restless but very interested guys. Lucho and wilmar few years had given workshops to children today were already a few adolescents who now occupy the place of workshop owners and are taught and helping with the children in this foundation does there.