Street performer in Ecuador displays unbelievable talent
Anyone visiting larger cities in Ecuador, such as Quito or Guayaquil can’t help but notice that the streets are alive with vendors and buskers, displaying impressive talents or offering a wide variety of products for sale. The products range from food and water to lottery tickets. The street performers engage in amazing displays of juggling, ball spinning, and balancing tricks. These performers set up their shows in the intersections and on crosswalks at red lights, giving stopped motorists a brief show in the hope that they will pass them some spare change before pulling away from the red light. Many of these vendors and performers share something in common. Almost all of them have left their homes in other countries such as Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, and Colombia. They have fled poor economic situations or unsafe circumstances in order to survive, trying to make a living on the streets of Ecuador. They are a mix of refugees and immigrants, struggling with the uncertainty of earning a living through the generosity of others.
Some are unable to obtain the legal documentation and status that will allow them to work officially. Others have the permits but can’t find gainful employment so they do what they can to earn a few dollars. Watching them, two things are immediately obvious. Performers such as Christian from Argentina, seen in this video, are unbelievably talented. Spinning two balls simultaneously or juggling three pins with one hand while bouncing a basketball on his head, he demonstrates almost superhuman reflexes and balance. Add to that the need to keep his eye on traffic and the traffic lights as he does everything else. When the light turns green, these buskers thread their way through the line of cars, hoping for a few coins before they drive off.
Another thing is obvious. Very few drivers actually provide them with any tips for the entertainment. They repeat their shows at each red light, hundreds of times per day, often receiving little or nothing for their efforts.
If you are ever fortunate enough to see these performers, consider that it may be worth the time to stop and watch. If they make you laugh, impress you, or entertain you, a coin for their trouble is a reasonable trade. In times where people are content to simply hold out their hand for a donation, these performers are willing to work hard for it. Each has a story and even more impressive than their talent is their determination and resilience.