"}
On Stage

Cultural Exchanges

Juyungo brings Ecuador to town

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

There’s little doubt that the act of traveling, whether it’s nationally, internationally or even just statewide, improves one’s quality of life. In fact, opening your eyes to new cultures—even those that can be found without leaving your current time zone—may be one of the most important things we as humans can do for ourselves.

While the journey itself is the biggest part of the educational equation, what happens after you return home and share your experiences is also an important factor when it comes to getting the most out of your travels.

Experience International (EI), a nonprofit based in Everson, seems to know full well that cultural exchanges are a vital part of uniting the world.

Since 1989, the group has worked with the agricultural and forestry sectors in the Pacific Northwest to engage in a variety of international cultural and technical exchanges. Via training and internship opportunities, Experience International staff have administered programs in production agriculture and natural resource management, as well as organized tours for performers, including Bellingham’s Kulshan Chorus.

In 2007, EI joined up with the longtime ensemble for a singing and cultural exchange to Ecuador. Six years later, members of the chorus will get to return the favor when they perform this week with Juyungo, an award-winning youth dance group from the northern part of the South American country. (For the record, the Whatcom Family and Community Network—a nonprofit that provides programs that build the capacity of our community to support children, youth and families to develop skills and opportunities—is also sponsoring the performances.)

“Juyungo is a living example of how local communities empower youth to change their lives and, through dance, to preserve and promote their cultural heritage,” EI Executive Director Charlie Walkinshaw says. “Juyungo is an effort of the provincial government to preserve traditional Ecuadorian dance and culture. They are part of a larger regional effort to provide youth with alternatives to drugs and alcohol.”
The youth he speaks of range in age from 8-21, and, in performance, are accompanied by at least five musicians on traditional Andean instruments. The dances themselves are also an educational tool, as they portray the legends and daily life of the indigenous people of Ecuador. 

Walkinshaw says last weekend’s performances at Bellingham’s Sterling Meadows Church of Christ and also on the Lummi Nation wowed audiences. He’s hoping for the same reaction when Juyungo performs Wed., Sept. 11 at the Bellingham Circus Guild’s Cirque Lab and Fri., Sept. 13 in Mount Vernon at LaVenture Middle School.

“They have far exceeded expectations in their performances so far,” he says. “It’s an event people really, really need to see. They are absolutely incredible.”

While the free shows will give people a chance to be entertained, Wilkenshaw says what Juyungo represents is much bigger than a night out on the town.

“Juyungo is a living example of how a community has pulled together to provide creative and constructive options for youth and families,” he says. “It is this that we hope to share with our local schools and community.”

Zoots Banner
More On Stage...
Women's World
Love, Loss and What I Wore

The five women who tell their tales in Love, Loss, and What I Wore don’t shy away from touchy subjects.

Whether they’re discussing the death of a child, ex-husbands, being raped at college, dressing room anxiety or aging, the 28 monologues comprising the play penned by sisters Nora and…

more »
Improv 101
A back-to-school guide

If year-round residents have noticed more U-Hauls awkwardly parked in alleys and on sidewalks and lawns throughout Bellingham neighborhoods of late, it’s a sure sign Western Washington University students are returning to town en masse, swelling the city’s population and looking for…

more »
Back to Love
Playing Monopoly with God

Until shortly before Melissa Bangs was admitted to the Providence Psychiatric Facilities in a manic state, she’d never experienced depression, mania or anxiety. She’d never even had a panic attack.

But a month after the birth of her daughter, Adelaide, things had gotten bad enough for the…

more »
Events
Today
Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

The Happy Elf Auditions

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Making Miso

4:00pm|Skagit Valley Food Co-op

Not If But When

6:00pm|Burlington Public Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Bingo in Blaine

6:00pm|Blaine Senior Center

Wonton and Char Siu

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Roving Cocktail Party

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Eagle Presentation

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Blackfish Prophecy

7:00pm|Village Books

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Beginning Square Dance

7:00pm|Ten Mile Grange

Monastery Talk

7:00pm|Bellingham Shambhala Meditation Center

Everybody’s Store Northwood Steak and Crab
Tomorrow
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Lynden Book Club

12:30pm|Lynden Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Fun with Fermentation

4:00pm|Blaine Library

Ukulele for Everyone

4:00pm|Everson Library

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Bokashi Composting

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Teton Gravity Research's Tight Loose

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Bebel Gilberto

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Bebel Gilberto

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Andrew Subin CW BOB 2016
Thursday
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Final After-Hours Market

4:00pm|Depot Market Square

Ensembulele

4:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Autumn Soups

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Tame Your Inner Critic

7:00pm|Village Books

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Looking for Betty MacDonald

7:30pm|Village Books

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Zoots Side Bar Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Swinomish 2016 CW BOB 2016 Bellingham Farmer’s Market Everybody’s Store Artifacts Wine Bar Andrew Subin