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Earlier this year, in January (2nd to the 12th of 2019), we completed our third version of our new volunteer trips, this time to beautiful Colombia, South America. We had already traveled to India and Costa Rica. This trip was done with members of the Yale Magic Society.
Colombia is a literal magical place full of hope now that a 50 year old civil conflict has come to an end.
We traveled through 5 small towns in the Boyaca región (Villa de Leyva, Duitama, Mongui, Corrales and Nobsa) and ended our trip on a 6 day stay in Bogota the capital, where we met with the 2 groups of kids of our programs in the slums of Bogota ending in a theater show!
The trip started in Villa de Leyva, a wonderful town, considered by many as one of the most beautiful towns in the country. We got a chance to explore the town and walk around it’s cobbled streets and admiring its colonial architecture. We also took a 5 hour tour in some great 4×4 off road vehicles and got to see the surrounding areas. And off course got to perform some magic… We did it in a Geriatric Home run by nuns, and an impromptu show on the streets.
Then we took onward to Duitama, where we stayed at a little “made up town” called Pueblito Boyacense which was amazing! There we did three performances: One in an arts festival organized by local students, called Festival Cacique Tundama, Another one in the La Milagrosa slum, and another one in the local public geriatric home, in this last one we had one of the best reactions, one of the elders said she wanted to thank us, by singing a song for us, look for the video below, it’s lovely. We had a blast in all three!
The trip continued in Mongui a wonderful very colorful town. We did a performance in the local arts and culture house open to the public, for visitors and locals in the midst of their local town fair, we got a lot of thanks including a tour of the local ball factory (yes this towns makes balls, soccer, basketball, volleyball, football yo name it) and we also got to meet the mayor! We had a blast in Mongui!
The trip ended in Bogota, the massive capital of Colombia (near 10 Million in population and 8530 ft above sea level). We got to meet the kids from the 2 projects that we host there (one has been going on for 6 years, the second one for 1) and got to prepare a one hour show between the volunteers and the local kids, this had to be done in 3 days and with ether of them speaking the others language, they had to use magic to communicate, it was a very challenging process, but also very formative! And the final result WOW! An hour long show that over 60 people got to experience at a very nice theater. Oh yeah, we also had time to wonder around the city, perform at a children’s hospital, visit a local magic shop and have 2 magic workshops, including one with a FISM judge, Luis Otero! And we got 2 mentions one in a national radio station called Radio Nacional with a web article plus a local tv crew from CityTv visited us during the show… look for the video below.
Over all this experience was out of this world (no pun intended). It had everything to make it an awesome trip, the camaraderie of magicians, the scenery of a beautiful country, social magic performances and what we like most, bringing different worlds together! And what better way to summarize it than by hearing out the people that made this trip, please listen to their testimonies.