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Smile despite the pandemic: Clowns of El Salvador celebrate their day


"Royy" is 80 years old and has not yet retired.In the middle of a pandemic that puts his health at risk and has made a dent in his trade, he has not lost his mood and this Wednesday, with all the care, he went out to celebrate: it is the day of the clown in El Salvador.

"We are always going to transmit joy, although very within our being we know that we are very beaten by this pandemic that has not allowed us.

The makeup he uses seems to highlight even more the furrows that age has drawn on his face.Eduardo Antonio Alfaro, as is his true name, has been in the clown business for 57 years.

In this parade through the streets of San Salvador we wear his usual blue and white pictures suit, large celestial shoes.And a mask, of course, because the new coronavirus is not a joke.

Official figures indicate that in El Salvador they were recorded until Wednesday 39.130 positive COVID-19 cases, including 1.129 deceased people.

- Joy was left without work -

The celebration of his day finds many sparseless clowns, because of the pandemic.

In this parade, most are a man, although women with their children are also seen, characterized as their parents.They walked from the Salvador del Mundo Plaza in the west sector of San Salvador to a city park.

Sonreír a pesar de la pandemia: Payasos de El Salvador celebran su día

To the rhythm of a pleasant and noisy batucada, the clowns dance or make jokes to people who stop to observe the passage of the colorful parade.

Showing her dancer skills, "Star" smiles and moves to the beat, dressed in a bright red suit.

"Being clowboy, I might already brought it, because when I was a girl I liked telling my friends, although today I do it by necessity, but with this Covid-19 I dedicate myself to sell (in a way) traveling" in the streets ofSan Salvador, said Estela Ramírez, his real name.

The 25 -year -old woman has been dedicated to the Office of a clown for five years, pushed by the lack of a formal job that allows her six -year -old little daughter, who accompanied her on Wednesday, accompanied her in the parade.

Until last March, before the Covid-19 Pandemia appeared in El Salvador, "Red" dedicated itself exclusively to work as a professional clown.But, in the absence of contracts for the pandemic, he has been forced to reinvent himself and went on to sell handmade ointments for body pains.

Due to his long career, "Rojito" was honored by his classmates, who gave him a recognition plaque in a brief act in the Cuscatlán Municipal Park, in the Salvadoran capital.

The Congress of El Salvador declared in 2014 through a decree that on the first Wednesday of December it was celebrated as the "National Clown Day", so that year these artists go out to the street.

-The joy already returns-

"Garbancito" is another veteran of the trade and also resent the lack of work for the sector.

"Every day is a challenge for those who are clowns, many people have us less, but they don't know that not anyone knows how to do it as a clown, getting laughs is an art although badly paid," confesses Jorge Espinal.At 52 he has dedicated 30 of them to be a clown.

Account that before the pandemic the rate of a clown was "$ 60 for two hours of entertainment, exclusive for children", but the virus disrupted its income.

Although the Association of Salvadoran Clayos (APSAL), organizer of the parade, has failed to count how many of its members have fallen because of the COVID-19, there were time to pay tribute.

Its president, Ronal Chávez, known in the artistic environment as "Cabalín", maintains the faith in which there will be better times for joy.

"We have faith in that people, families will gradually give us the opportunity to make them smile, that the Covid-19 will happen soon," he added.

© 2020 AFP

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