Hermanos Ponce Circus arrives in SP

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 20            May 17, 2007

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The Space Wheel had everyone by the edge of their seats as the artist swung 360 through the air. He even did it blindfolded!!!

The Contortionist wowed everyone with her limber movements. She even put on a cap with her feet as seen above.

The clown acts were hilarious and even audience members got to be a part of it.
The trapeze and other aerial acts kept everyone's gazes upward.

Juggling was another aspect of the circus that received much applause.

The elephant was the star attraction and at the end of the show audience members got the opportunity to get their pictures taken with this amazing visitor from Asia.

T he first trailers arrived and everyone wondered what was going on. The animals came out and soon enough the field had visitors young and old. Excitement mounted as the big top went up and everyone anxiously awaited the shows. The Hermanos (Brothers) Ponce Circus had arrived. Getting its start in 1956, the Ponce Circus arrived from the Melchor de Mencos border in the Cayo District. It made its way to San Ignacio, Belize City and has now made it to La Isla Bonita.

    Comprised of 25 people, the Ponce brothers have many acts in their repertoire but show animals also entertain the crowds. Within their collection, the brothers have five llamas, four ponies (including the smallest pony in the world), two buffalos, two lions, two tigers, one camel and the star of the circus, an elephant. Fernando Ponce, director of the circus, commented to The Sun, that Belize is the country with the most regulations to cross the border with animals. “Other countries have been easier. Because of all the regulations, our animals received new vaccines and the two ostriches which also form a part of the show were unable to come,” he stated.

    Show times allotted for the show were not enough and hundreds were turned away because the tent was filled to the brim. However, they remain on the island until this weekend and today, Thursday, and Friday show time is at 7:30 p.m. while on Saturday and Sunday, show times are 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

    Many concerns were raised as to the animals’ health and well being. Speaking with Ponce, The Sun found out that all animals in the circus acts are fed on a regular basis and water is provided to them. As far as vaccines and shots, the circus’ vet in Guatemala takes care of the matter. Ponce himself administers vitamin shots every morning to each and every animal. Circus animals are usually acquired through the barter process and in the near future the Hermanos Ponce circus will include boxing kangaroos and a hippopotamus to their repertoire.

    The Ponce Brothers Circus began when Fernando’s grandmother who worked for a European Circus met her husband in Central America. She stayed in the Latin country of Guatemala where they decided to start their own circus. Petrona de Ponce, who did equilibrium acts, stayed in the circus performing and then later her sons and daughters took it over. “I love it … it is an experience like no other. Would not change it for anything,” explained Fernando as his reason for staying in the family tradition.

    The Hermanos Ponce Circus will remain in San Pedro until the 20th and then move to Corozal, Orange Walk and later Belmopan. So, if you still haven’t had a chance to see the acts then Sunday at 8:30 is your last opportunity. If you have been there, Fernando states that the acts change every time. So the show you’ve seen is not the same show you’ll see the following night. “We invite everyone to still come and see new tricks and enjoy it for the last nights,” ended Ponce.

    Tickets run for $20 for adults and $15 for kids.

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