Little Prince of the Andes, Interview with Tupac Saavedra, Part 2

Tupac Tells About Filming “Little Prince of the Andes”

Bolivian Children by Tupac Saavedra

Bolivian Children by Tupac Saavedra

A few years ago Tupac learned of a theater program in La Paz where a teacher brought street children into his home, training them to explore their situation through theatre games that developed into skits and plays. Eventually, they built a separate theater building and brought in social workers to recruit the kids. Through the development of self exploration and analysis that theater demands of the actor and playwrite, self esteem slowly develops in the children. Today graduates of the program sometimes become the teachers.

It is a risky business to film La Paz’s street life, where organized crime and graft are not friendly to the inquisitive cameras. Saaverda, dressed in the familiar vest of street social workers, goes out with a team carrying a hidden camera and mike.    But like his indigenous namesake, Tupac Amaru, who is famed for fighting off the Spanish conquerors, Tupac Saavedra is familiar with the risks it takes to get inside the story he wants to tell. He also understands the artistic process and the call of the muse that is working on these children as they develop their play, an adaptation based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery children’s classic “The Little Prince”. The plot is changed to suit the Andean culture and the imagination of these youths.

Saavedra just completed a courageous effort to both fund the theatre group (which had just lost its funding) and his film by mounting an Kickstarter campaign, which requires a project to either raise all the money – or get nothing.  But “dare to struggle dare to win,” he reached his goal so both the theater project and the film can continue. Of course more is always needed and you can still contribute by contacting him here.

Posted in Blog, La Raza Chronicles, media, Radio Tagged , , , , , , , permalink

About Nina Serrano

Nina is a well-known, international prize-winning inspirational author and poet. With a focus on Latino history and culture, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, KPFA talk show host, a former Alameda County Arts Commissioner, and a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Oakland Magazine’s “best local poet” in 2010, she is a former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program and the Bay Area’s Storytellers in the Schools program. A Latina activist for social justice, women’s rights, and the arts, Nina Serrano at 84 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to or contact her publisher at For more detailed information about Nina see About Nina on her website.


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