Monday, October 24, 2011


In October, I traveled to Mexico City for the first Laughter Yoga Congress in Latin America. I presented a program called Holy Hysterics about how laughter yoga can be combined with Christian ministry. It was enthusiastically received (even though I don’t speak Spanish). The entire trip was truly an inspirational event—one that blessed me immensely. I was only there for 4 days but I managed to see and do so much. Below are pictures, which help tell the story of my experience. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for 2 videos.

The whole group at the conference (click to see larger)
My presentation
Tosha Tobias, my friend from Chile, translated my presentation

The graduates of Sebastien's Laughter Yoga Teacher course
My friends Biby Chaire and Clara Herrera
My friends Xiomara and Oscar Guevara from Venezuela
I got a certificate of participation (And boy, was I excited!)
Here's my copy of that great certificate—proving I was really there!

Luis Gomez, one of the event organizers, talked me into taking a bike ride in the busy downtown traffic of Mexico City (Am I laughing or crying for help in this photo? It's hard to tell!)
Ricardo Llorente from Ecuador, Luis and I
With Tosha, Biby and Xiomara
We saw this outdoor, Day of the Dead art exhibit. Xiomara and I almost got eaten one of the monstrous sculptures!
My friend Marietta Albornoz from Venezuala

Juan Antonio Salas from Valparaiso, Chile (William and I had met him two years earlier when we were touring Chile—what a cool reunion in Mexico!)
Juan Antonio and Tosha—both from Chile
A group of happy Venezuelans

Tosha enjoying dinner with me

With Abby, Joanna and Tosha
We did an open-air, laughing bus trip the first evening of the congress. These are some sights from the city that night. Above is the new events center.
Tosha loves laughing buses!
This is the group of laughers on top of the bus

The monument of Benito Juarez
Here I am with the laughing bus—ha ha ha
Mexico City's famous Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts)

Mexico City's cathedral

Abby and Giovanny PiƱango from Venezuela doing their presentation. They shared about Abby's battle with breast cancer and how laughter yoga helped restore her to wellness. It was very inspirational.
Tosha was so moved by the presentation that she hugged Abby afterwards
With Shanda

With my friend Marjorie Hauser from France
Sebastien and Marjorie

The view of the city from the conference room
With my friend Cathleen Howard, an American who lives in Mexico

With Nathan, Tosha and Luis
With my friend Douglas Cordero from Venezuela (And after taking this photo we realized we looked alike with our dark curly hair and green outfits!)
Sebastien Gendry getting carried away at the conference
Luis Gomez and Rosy Flores giving their closing words at the end of the event
Reyna Vazquez Conde and Nathan Mansbach making their closing remarks
More incredible paper mache sculptures for the Day of the Dead. These were all floats for the big parade but were now on display.

With Xiomara and Ricardo in front of the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts)

Inside the cathedral

Side view of the cathedral

Here I am with the ruins of the Aztec Templo Mayor (temple)

The laughing crew at the Palacio de Bellas Artes

Day of the Dead tombstone cookies—a Mexican treat
Candy skulls for the Day of the Dead
The beautiful stage inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts)
The simple refrigeration system at an outdoor market
Ricardo and Luis got enthralled with these optical allusion paintings at the market

Here's the macrobiotic restaurant at which we dined

One more shot of the amazing Palacio de Bellas Artes

There are so many old VW bug taxis running around Mexico City
Juan Antonio and I

Below is a video of testimonials about my Holy Hysterics presentation. They are given by people from three different South American countries.

Below is a video telling about the incredible experience I had on the last day of my trip. I boldly went into a men's prison in Mexico City in order to lead laughter yoga with inmates. Luis Gomez does this as his regular job now and after hearing from him about how rewarding this work was, I decided to join him on a visit. We were not able to take photos of video inside the prison but I recorded this quick testimonial in the parking lot just after we got out.