The first Nicavangelist was viewed on YouTube even before the group's founder, Jed, had arrived in Nicaragua. Aben was videoed while "tricking," a genre of gymnastics incorporating a variety of athletic movement styles, in the vacant lot by his Managua barrio dwelling. Jed wrote a message to Aben via YouTube; however, the message was never received.
When visiting a shopping mall, Jed happened to stumble upon Aben, who was tricking. Jed was enjoying a coffee just outside the busy mall and became distracted by feet flying above the crowds. As he investigated what was happening, he was surprised to learn it was Aben, showing off his tricking skills.
Jed raced over to Aben, who was with his friend Steven, and invited them both to the Capital Edge Community Center to talk about their talents. Aben was immediately employed as a gymnastics teacher for the Capital Edge Community School. However, as they became more and more talented, the members invited more to join the group. They wrote and performed a street theatre production, and it was clear that this show needed to go on the road!
As the talent abounded at Capital Edge Community Center, Jed had the “lightning strike” idea that he should form a troupe out of all the youths, and take them on tour to share this amazing culture, and these talented people, with those outside of Nicaragua. Two more performance genres were added to the mix; bboy (break-dancing) and Latino love dances (bachata and salsa). The Nicavangelists practiced a 40-minute-long routine incorporating dance, drama, and singing; and they began touring El Salvador and the USA in 2013.