This is El Hulk, I met him last week in Hueyapan Morelos. An unlikely custodian of human faith, but his calm certainty as to the activity in this home helped to ground me. Hulk is lying in The morning sun, not unusual, but the cement pad he is lying on was once surrounded by four walls and had a roof. Only 4 days prior to this photo it was a family home and had been for years. unfortunately thousands of homes were lost in the September earthquakes. This week I will be visiting other areas in Chiapas and Oaxaca to see firsthand The situations There. I have been impressed with the resiliancy of those affected and the civil Response. Me encanta Mexico.
PS thankyou to Hertz Mexico For assisting with Transportation on My Part of The trip!
The above image Is a photo of Ernestina Espinoza Gonzales, 60 of Hueyapan Morelos. After sharing a ride to her Home Where She chatted happily we were stunned to find It had completely collapsed, She had no home and yet the following morning arrived with fresh hot tortillas in thanks for the food and blankets we had distributed to her and her neighbors. Only through photos and vídeos have we been able to process And share the reality of this.
The past week has been momentous here in Mexico. After the 7.1 earthquake here in Mexico City I collected vídeos and photographs of the effects. Collapsed buildings, people trapped, rescuers, trauma and more. Photographing and recording kept me moving through the night, this was the beginning. As the week moved forward the reality and brevity of the situation became more apparent and the realization of the devastation in Morelos was close to Home asa Good Friends Family lost the entire home. A Group of 35 Volunteers From 4 different organizations came together in Hueyapan Morelos where approximately 60 percent of the structures were lost and damamged. I spent the weekend documenting and assessing the state to create a plan to Support the rebuilding process. The amazing Spirit of the people that Live There was repeated Over and Over again. These people were akready moving forward on their own, doing what they could when they could. Tyr appreciation on their faces and written in Signs Everywhere thanking Volunteers for Support. Please consider becoming part of this process, funds go towards Building material as this part of Mexico knows how to build their own Homes, they only need materials.
$25 buys a piece of corrugated metal for a roof.
$125-200 builds a roof for a family
Two ways to donate, directly to the Mexican Charity I am aligned with, or in Canada to Cameras4Change
When people hear about Cameras4Change they are immediately drawn towards the idea of an organization that uses cameras! It’s fun, it’s creative, and we all pretty much love cameras and photography right? They want to know more, and often have questions as to the how and why. Sometimes folks wonder if it is really plausible to make a difference by doing something as basic as photography? Well…it is!
When students first hold a camera you will know right away by the smiles on their faces that they are excited to photograph with an actual camera, it is a very different experience from that of using a cell phone.
Cameras are almost our magic tool, shooting with them our secret weapon. We use them to connect with our participants, they connect with themselves, each other and us too. Photography as an art form can be very thearapuetic, a way to expand on self evaluation, explore your life, your hopes and dreams as well as advocate for yourself or your community.
These simple workshops allow for participants to experience an array of creative skill sets, and follow through naturally with what they are most attracted or adapted to. We often see group leaders and those that support them blossom when it comes to working in small groups. We also dialogue with the participants to allow them to develop and create something that is actually their vision. Not everyone is a natural photographer, but we also see some raw talent in the development of the program. At the end of a C4C Workshop everyone gets to experience the pride and joy of showcasing their work in a community exhibit, and that is a brilliant moment, the smiles, the pride in working together and creating a cultural experience…that is in fact “priceless”.
Whether you are 7 like Tenoch or 73 like Josefa, it is wonderful to create your own photos, because we all have a way of seeing things that is unique and special!
“Caminando en la lluvia” foto de Paulina, San Francisco, Xochimilco June 2015
The past 2 weeks spent in Mexico City were enormously rewarding. Walking in the rain for me can sometimes be a meditation, and so are giving these workshops, there is so much to do that you really need to get into “the zone” and keep moving forward, one step at a time. I loved this photo above taken by one of our students in San Francisco Xochimilco. Paulina was obviously in her zone as she was walking with the camera, really in the moment, that is exactly why photography and cameras are such a great tool, they truly teach us to see exactly where we are at any given point in time! We worked with 2 very different communities in Mexico City. Each community arrives with eagerness and appreciation, and ends with pride and alot of joy! Although this time there was a large range in ages (from 5 – 72) it was wonderful to see a diverse slice of each community taking part together, and see the program work this way too, delivering to all ages at the same time! Facilitating these programs takes a good amount of organization, as well as energy, not only do you work during the delivery, but there is a huge amount of tasks involved in prep for each day. Cameras4Change also hosted a Facilitator Workshop for 5 of our Mexican partners from Isla Urbana, Proyecto ConcentrArte and Camaroni Produciones! It is so wonderful to know that the program is in a replicable format and that it is happening throughout the year! That is a big step for our little NGO!!! Thank you to all that came out, and please check in our newly formatted Student Galleries to see the work from the two communities; San Francisco Xochimilco, and Milpa Alta!
Cameras –> Education –> Community –> Connection –> Action!! Oh ya, and a lot of FUN!
So happy to post the photos from the final day of the first Cameras4Change workshop in San Francisco Xochimilco, a lovely community high in the hills above Mexico City.
This was a large workshop with over 20 participants ranging in age from 6 -72!! They all amazed us with their enthusiasm, wisdom with the camera and some absolutely beautiful photos. The workshop took place over 6 days and ended with a public exhibit in the center of the community at the church of San Francisco. Thank you to all that came and all that helped us from Isla Urbana, our collaborative partner in Mexico and the community members in San Francisco! The party started around 11 am with a special theatrical performance by Leo, and ended with sharing the work of the students along with their creative writing about water in their community – “Agua es Vida”. It was an honor to work with you all. At the end of the program all participants received all the images that they shot. This week we will be meeting a new group in the community of Milpa Alta! We will be creating a special gallery of all of the students best work from these workshops, labeled with the community name! Thanks again to Nikon Canada, Lowepro Bags and Sandisk for helping with the camera equipment, and to John Fluevog Shoes and all of our supporters for getting us here!