Jake the Juggler, Swindon’s famed artiste of circus skills, returned in late May from three months running circus skills workshops in poor communities in Nicaragua with a team from Performers Without Borders.
During the trip he was able to visit Swindon’s twin town Ocotal where he and friend Jess Herman were welcomed with open arms by people who know the town well, including several who have made trips here with the assistance of Swindon Ocotal Link (SOL) which has been providing support for over 25 years ago.
Jake said: “The performers were not on tour as such. Some were professionals, others had skills in musical theatre, youth work and youth circus. We spent a month in three different areas, working with organisations which clothe, feed and shelter street children and poor families. The daily circus sessions aimed to build relationships, have fun, teach skills and increase self confidence. It was a joy to work with the children after school and in the evenings.”
The team departed leaving equipment in each community so that they could develop their own local circus performing tradition.
Jake and Jess spent a long weekend in Ocotal. He said: “It was incredible to meet people who knew so much about Swindon and to hear them talking so positively about the relationship they have with our town through SOL.
“There had been some circus activities in Ocotal and we were able to put the locals in touch with the towns we had been working with. We were really pleased to have created a network of performers across Nicaragua.”
Jake then spent a month in Utah, USA, highlining over canyons in the Moah valley, right.
Read Jake’s blog at: www.bit.ly/JakeinOcotal