Faces of Guatemala
My recent assignment in Guatemala was a wet affair, to say the least. Many of the images I’d seen from other photographers taken in this country had an array of bright colours and vibrant blue skies but unfortunately there wasn’t a single day without a blanket of cloud and torrential rain whilst I was there. For me it was an inconvenience that hindered me from doing what I was assigned to do but for the communities we were visiting rain like that meant even greater hardships than they already had to endure. During my stay, mudslides caused havoc around the country and loss of life was a daily occurrence. Walking around the communities which Outreach International support wasn’t easy as we slipped through the wet mud. But again, I was reminded of what this weather meant for the locals who had to walk miles to farm the land for their food, often carrying heavy loads whilst battling these elements.
As I spoke to various community members and listened to their stories I experienced a roller coaster of emotions, from the heart-wrenching sadness of hearing the woman who had no way to pay back the loan-sharks, suffering the consequences of not being able to do so, to the joy of seeing happy children in a newly built kindergarten school. As with all the places I’ve visited where Outreach International are involved there is an air of optimism and resolve from community members which I continue to find truly inspiring.
I’ve chosen a selection of images from this trip for my Faces of.. post, I hope they convey the character of some of the amazing people I had the opportunity to meet and share with.
Although this last photo shouldn’t really be a part of the ‘Faces of’ posts I thought I’d include it to give an idea of the wet and muddy conditions.
Images – copyright 2012 outreach-international.org
Photography by Wayne Rowe / Visioning Images