The “Circo FantazzTico” is a social project based on training circus art, founded by the association “vida nueva” about eleven years ago in San Isidro, a city in the south of Costa Rica – one of the poorest regions in Costa Rica. It uses circus pedagogic as a way to offer preventative help for socially deprived children and teenagers. The most artists are young people, often youth between twelve and eighteen years. Most families in San Isidro are very poor and the kids there hardly have leisure activities – some of them don’t have any chance to live a better life. Many leave to the drug mafia, where money can be made rapidly, but as everybody know, this kind of business is extremely dangerous. Therefore the Circo FantazzTico project was set up to help young people.

The idea is to create a secure place for children and youth with social difficulties to teach them corporal abilities and social competence. This circus covers the entire spectrum of disciplines, from juggling to acrobatics, allowing the kids to develop confidence in themselves and in the group and to develop team work skills plus a sense of responsibility. Moreover, the importance is not placed on individual success but in detecting and improving the capacities, strengths and talents of each, in order to achieve success as a group. A show that is prepared and brought to success by the whole group improves self-esteem as well as group consciousness.

This year the circus-crew is travelling in Europe for the fifth time in Europe – for the young people, the journey is something very special. It provides a safe starting point in which young people can develop their interests and abilities. For them the Circo FantazzTico is a way to make something out of their lives, to bring sense to their youth and to see more parts of the world as most of the other youth from San Isidro, and to develop skills to live from later on through training, talent and hard work. But only the best young artists of the circus were allowed to come to the nearly two -month European tour, which began with two exceptional performances in Germany.

The performance is based on the literary work “Marcos Ramirez” of the Costa Rican author Carlos Luis Fallas. The book is about a boy who tried his best but often got disappointed. He hoped for a world of solidarity. The plot is taken up in an amusing way, but acrobatics and juggling still dominate.

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