There we sat. Nearly all of San Pancho plus who knows who else, as we numbered over a thousand that starlit Friday night in the Plaza del Sol.
And there they beamed: our own stars, over sixty of them, the children of the village performing with joy and confidence and exuberance.
Parents and volunteers told me that the previous night, when the children had a complete dress rehearsal in front of their families, there were some cases of nerves. This night, you'd never have known, as they performed as if they'd been performing forever. Their four and five hour practices every day for months gave them the skills, and their success the night before gave them their panache.
They tumbled and flew through hoops. They cavorted and captivated us with their humor and high spirits. They danced on stilts and juggled and walked across tightropes and watched their trainers for cues.
Surrounded by our local friends, some of which are three or five or eight years old, we cheered and clapped and laughed aloud. Sometimes a child would appear in my lap, face all O's, hugging me and clutching my arm in excitement. Other children who sat with us stood on their chairs all through the performance, enthralled by their siblings and neighbors onstage, by the music and colors and action, adults behind them offering a supporting hand now and then when the excitement threatened to topple the children out of their seats.
The trapeze above the stage hung empty, causing wide-eyed anticipation and speculation in the minds of the children. Suddenly it was released and our trapeze artists took to the air.
The audience went wild at the beauty of it all, the children in the audience nearly taking flight themselves from sheer delight.
My photos are paltry, as I was doing some juggling myself that night, mostly of children and bags of popcorn and fresh strawberry water. I encourage you to visit the entreamigos facebook page where you will find some decidedly more professional offerings.
But let me tell you that this village is still awed by the sheer joy of it all and with our gratitude to Gilles Ste-Croix and Monique Voyer for bringing this opportunity to the children and their audience. San Pancho's entire Circo de los Niños has been invited to perform tonight at the Grand Mayan Resort in Nuevo Vallarta.
Standing ovations all 'round...and more surprises next week!