Gustavo Sanchez Lopez

Performance, 2023, Grantee Link >

Gustavo Sánchez López, a performance artist with the theater group Tironeta in San Carlos, Colombia, was awarded a grant to develop their play Doña Zary: An Unknown Heroine. Doña Zary celebrates the opossum (zary) and its role in the ecosystem, and in Colombia in particular, where the opossum is often ignored, misunderstood, or killed as a pest. Highlighting the essential need for biodiversity at a local, national, regional, and global level, Teatro Tironeta tours Doña Zary through schools and villages around San Carlos, delighting, entertaining, and informing children and their families and teachers, and creating a paradigm shift in regard to the treatment of opossums and other wild animals. Scenes from Teatro Tironeta’s work that CAF helped support can be seen in the gallery below and on Instagram (@tironeta).

Gustavo’s commitment to changing the perception of a species is shared by 2023 grantee Namita Kandel in Nepal, whose theatre group performs plays about vultures, highlighting the importance of scavenger birds within her country’s ecosystem. Furthermore, his crafting and use of puppets are shared with Kevin Augustine and Benjamin Hunt, who use puppetry as a means to bring animals into the scenario.