Costa Rica: The Circus that Saves Children's Lives

To the south of Costa Rica lies the town of Perez Zeledon, home to the Fantazztico Circus that is giving children and youth in the region a chance to stay out of drugs and trouble while opening doors to international travel.

In a video documentary, the story of this 12 year old project by the New Life Asociation (Asociacion Vida Nueva) takes shape. In an interview, a mother explains how young people are left to their own devices, and they end up getting in trouble or addicted to drugs due to lack of opportunities to study or work. The circus gives them a chance to learn skills, discipline and become part of a group where they become valued. It is also the story of Josue, who drifted away from the circus, and almost died from a drug overdose. As he says, he returned to the circus where he knew he'd find the support to go on, and now he tries to steer clear from peer pressure.

The Circo Fantazztico has had the opportunity to travel overseas to Europe, presenting their show and work to audiences while also discovering new cultures and places.

The Sula Batsú Cooperative of Costa Rica which works in training and skill building for cooperatives and other non-government organizations shared through their facebook page a link to the promotional video with the comment:

El viernes pasado nos visitó la agrupación Circo FantazzTico, en este proyecto social se usa la pedagogía circense como medio del trabajo preventivo con niños, niñas y jóvenes en riesgo social. La idea del proyecto es crear un lugar seguro para los niños, niñas y jóvenes que están en una situación social difícil, y que puedan aprender habilidades corporales al igual que adquirir competencias sociales…

Last Friday the Fantazztic Circus group visited us, this social project uses the circus training as a means to do preventive work with children and youth in social risk. The project's idea is to create a safe place so that boys, girls and young people in difficult social situations can learn physical movement skills while they learn social skills…

The Circus is also well received nationally: the following video shows their presentation in the National Stadium of Costa Rica in the capital city of San Jose, to an audience of 10 000 people. The presentation included aerobatics of people twisting on ropes, fabric and tumbling as well as floor exercises and pyramids.

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