Ambassador: Mariana Hoop Drop: São Paulo Location: Brazil From: Porto Alegre, Brazil Dates: 2006 – present
My name is Mariana and I have long been an ambassador of hooping in Porto Alegre (since 2006), and my website is http://bambambam.wordpress.com. People have often laughed at me (riding on the bus and train with hoops, hooping in college grounds, parks, etc) but the truth is that I feel people are more open to the idea than they used to be. I have been speaking in radio shows and other events, invited by friends who like the idea, and given away many hoops.
This year I decided to do something for World Hoop Day, because I feel the city might finally be ready. This is a city with a very strong park culture, and hoops are naturally compatible with this kind of mentality (although people tend to fear what they don’t know). I have turned many strangers into hoop lovers, but I have come to a point where I cannot afford my hoop-donating habits any longer.
I actually tried to put up a store online, but never managed to keep the hoops long enough to sell them. I have never ever sold one. I always get soft-hearted and end up giving them away, with the promise that the people will spread the word. I have also posted instructions on how to make a hoop, which I think have helped quite a few people too. So I am writing to apply not for a travel (although I am travelling to São Paulo on business on Aug 26th, I will not have the time or resources to organize an event there), but to help spread the word in Porto Alegre, the city where I live.I am not quite travelling but planning to become an ambassador in my city (Porto Alegre). I have been making hoops and giving them away (and spreading the word) since 2006, and this year I am planning to hold a ‘make your own hoop’ workshop on World Hoop Day, in a park where lots of street kids go. However, I do not have the funds to buy the necessary material to hold an event this size, as I usually spend more or less 4 dollars per hoop (in Brazilian reais, current exchange rate).
I am speaking at a Pecha Kucha event next week (http://pecha-kucha.org/cities/porto-alegre/7) to try and raise awareness to the power of hooping, and intend to hold a “pilot” workshop on the weekend before WHD and the official workshop on the weekend after WHD. I intend to use the funding to get wholesale pipe, connectors and tape to hold a workshop at the park, in which people come in. Thank you for doing this.