They’re as young as nine years old. They come from gangs, or are orphans. Some have been prostituted and trafficked. Many started working before they were 10, and haven’t finished school. The youth from the streets of Managua, Nicaragua are part of a group called the Nicavangelists, and brought their talents, culture, and hope to Syracuse Friday.
They perform unique folkdances infused with tricking and breakdance, popular among youth in Nicaragua…all while highlighting the socio-economic crisis, genocide, and government repression. WAER News caught up with 17-year-old Myron, who’s been with the group since he was 11, and 17-year-old Fred, who joined two years ago. Both had troubled childhoods in a country without much opportunity.
"Kids were going to the streets to work, to sell, to steal. The economy is going down, and we're getting more poor. We're not getting jobs. We're not getting resources to families," said Fred.
"A lot of my friends near my house were killed. One was just three days ago. I think I'm here because God has a plan for me. I'm helping a lot of kids came from the same siutation that I came. We miss our family and we miss our country every day," said Myron. "We can be a voice here in the U.S. to show other people what's happening over there."
"We have faith that we can go back to Nicaragua and live a normal life again and be happy," said Fred.
"We have hope that we're going to go back," said Myron.
The Nicavangelists from Nicaragua perform cultural dances all over the US, Asia, and Central America while also speaking out about the poverty and repression in their country. More about the group, its mission, and how to support the youth is at nicavangelists.com.