A cultural event comprising of several artists under the banner of "Sombrilla Fest," (Umbrella Fest) left San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, one of the most dangerous Central American countries, colorful and joyous.
El Salvador, with deadly gangs Mara Salvatrucha gangs (MS13) and Barrio 18, is known to be one of the most violent countries in the world. The artists' collectives offered their art as a way to escape the "darkness of violence" in the country.
Marco Paíz, an artist and an organizer of the event which took place at the Plaza Gerado Barrios, according to EFE, said that one of the objectives of the festival was for "people to take over these spaces and these activities" so that they "come out of the darkness of the violence that surrounds the country."
Paiz further added that he hoped the event would motivate Salvadorans to learn some of the artistic disciplines which may help "improve their living situation" and "influence their families and modify their social environment."
He noted the festival was part of a broader celebration of the World Social Circus Day (April 7), an international day designed to spread joy and celebrated by nearly 20 nations worldwide with "multidisciplinary workshops" and other events.
Paiz said over 40 artists from the United States, England, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Ecuador, in addition to 100 Salvadoran representatives of circus and urban art took part in the "Sombrilla Fest."
"We are almost 150 artists who have come together to give a gift to people who travel through the Historic Center of San Salvador because it is one of the least considered spaces to present artistic expressions," Paiz told EFE.
The San Salvador event was organized by members of the Umbrella School House, which is part of the Umbrella Art and the Social Circus Project.