Photos: A Night at the Circus in Honduras

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Photos: A Night at the Circus in Honduras

My first hint that a circus was in town came blaring from a loudspeaker mounted to the top of a tiny van. It was patrolling the winding cobblestone streets of Copan Ruinas, blasting out the theme song from Hawaii Five-0 overlaid with rapid-fire Spanish. The Circo Latino Spectacular was in town.

I later learned that they were a Mexican circus, touring through Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. And though it wasn’t the Most Amazing Show on Earth, it was a lot of fun. I marched up to the entrance a few moments after the show had started and gave the old woman at the gate my friendliest “Hola! Como estas?” She scowled and grunted “100 lempira” ($5 US). Off to a great start!

Photos: A Night at the Circus in Honduras

Copan Ruinas is a fairly small town and I expected a large crowd but found less than twenty people inside. The show had been in town a few days when I arrived, so maybe that was a factor. Regardless, it worked for me as I had an easier time moving around to pick my shots and wasn’t in anyone’s way. There was very little light inside so many of the shots aren’t perfectly sharp but I included them to illustrate what was going on.

Photos: A Night at the Circus in Honduras

The Master of Ceremonies was this clown. He was quite charming and funny and held the whole show together. For many of the comedy skits, he’d grab kids from the audience and work them into the act. I was surprised at how blase most of the kids were about the whole event — many seemed like they’d rather be at home watching TV.

http://youtu.be/wVH4_5WUXGA

The announcer always made a point to tell where each performer was from. The young contortionist was from Chile and the lady swinging upside down from a ring was Venezuelan. This python was from Africa and the massive anaconda they brought out was from Brazil. It was a real international experience.

Photos: A Night at the Circus in Honduras

There was an odd steel cage off to the side in the shadows and I hadn’t really paid any attention to it until this guy rolled out. I immediately knew what it was: a Cage of Death. I love stuff like this (see the Wall of Death, Bridge of Death, Microwave of Death). The rider carefully wheeled his bike into the cage and was soon zipping around completely parallel to the ground. At the end of the act, the MC got in the cage with him. Check out the video below.

http://youtu.be/wVH4_5WUXGA

The MC came back out and played a snappy tune on a trumpet and then sang a dramatic almost-operatic piece (and quite well, too — this guy has talent). Then he waved his hands dramatically and the final act rushed onto the stage — Spiderman! Again, I thought the kids would perk up but most had their chins in their hands as he spun about and flew through the air.

I think I was more excited than they were.

The MC came out again and said good night as everyone ran for the door like the place was on fire. I waved at Spiderman and made my way home.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

DKR January 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

What an experience. Killer pics, esp the first two!

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Dean January 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Spiderman at the circus? I’m sold!

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wes January 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I’m pretty sure he was the same guy who road the motorbike in the cage of death. They all wear several hats, I suspect.

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April Neylan January 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

This is awesome! Great article, great pics :)

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Alex January 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I love the circus! Just a month or two ago I blogged about one I went to in Cambodia put on by an NGO raising money for disadvantaged youth. It was amazing! In contrast to this one, the kids in the audience there were going BONKERS. Fun post :)

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wes January 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Wow, I would have loved to have seen that.

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Stephanie - The Travel Chica January 11, 2012 at 6:06 am

Cool experience! I would love to discover a circus in Latin America.

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wes January 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Crossing my fingers for you (and me — would love to see more)

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Angie Away January 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

That first shot is stunning!

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Jim @NeverStopTraveling January 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm

This is really incredible — literally a step back in time. I would kill (well almost, anyway) to have a chance to experience something like that. What a great story.
John — would you like to do a guest post on my blog / newsletter on this?

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Amy January 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Wow! That really looks like an amazine experience! Your blog is so entertaining and informative. Thanks for sharing!

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Dayna January 15, 2012 at 9:34 am

What an awesome experience, and some beautiful photos to boot. I feel the same way – I get more excited than most kids at the circus too (especially when Spidey is involved)!

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