Jugglers Enjoy Performing on the Streets of Quito

By: Bora Han

In the streets of Quito once the lights turn from yellow to red, the show begins. These jugglers stand in front of all the cars with three pins, balls and a unicycle. As quick as they can they get on their unicycle and begin to perform.

They have about 40 seconds to perform and 10 seconds to go around asking for contribution before the lights change from red to green. During those 40 seconds, they get up on their unicycles and perform.

“Some people keep their windows shut or ignore us when we pass by, they don´t even bother looking at us,” said Joaquin a street performer.

Joaquin juggles in the streets of Quito with his friends Marcos and Marilu. Sometimes they work in pairs juggling together or they take turns presenting. They go near the cars and some congratulate them for a hard work and give some money while others ignore them or say: “Get out of my way.”

Sometimes to improve their shows they attend classes at institutions where they learn how to juggle, dance and do tricks. They go all over the city and stop in different streets where there are a lot of cars. If there´s already someone performing in the street they go look for another street.

When asked why they do it, they responded: “We do this because it´s fun, we like to do it and we enjoy doing this. Usually we get 10 dollars per day, some days we get more and some we get less. It may not be much but we enjoy doing this so we´re okay with it.”

These jugglers may not earn much money by going around the streets performing and sometimes even have trouble with people around or with policemen, but they still do it because juggling is what they like. Even though they go through hard times they have said that they won´t stop. “We won´t stop doing what we like, street performing is what we want and we will keep doing it.”

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