Photo Friday: Nico en Mexico (1)

 

Today begins a series we like to call “Nico in Mexico.” Every Christmas break, Nico goes to Mexico to serve the people. He captures the beauty of the experience on film. Lucky for us, he is kind enough to scan the photos so that we can present them to you digitally. If you ask him, I bet he’d be willing to tell you more about the beauty that surrounds each of the moments he has captured. Agua Azul Mariachi Mayan Girl Old Lady Veracruz

Photo Friday: Dignity Shots

helpphoto

We forget that even things like Holiday cards can be a matter of separating those who “have ” and those who “have not.” While some are busy sending out the most beautiful picture of their beautiful children in front of a beautiful tree on their beautiful vacation, enclosed with a letter about all the beautiful things that they have done this year (and, what a wonderful thing to be able to do), Some are not able to participate in this cultural rite. To not be able to send a litany of fun and successful things you have done, or to not have a photo that looks “send-able,” or to not have an address to which these holiday cards can be sent–all of these things are barriers to participation.

One non-profit, Help Portrait, has seen this need and is working with their homeless friends to address it-via the camera lens. While many of these people may not be sending out their photos to loved ones–they are receiving evidence they can carry around of their own beauty and worth.

Help Portrait says that they want to make sure that the Homeless know that  “they are valuable, respected and important members of our communities. That they may be looked past on a daily basis but . . . they are beautiful and worthy people who may just need to see it in their hands to understand what we mean.”

Click here to read more of this beautiful story, and about the lives that have been affected by it.

Click here to see a gallery of photos.

 

Photo Friday: Girls + Education = ?

In response to the following charge by World Vision ACT:S, Elizabeth hung out in the common area to see what people thought Girls+Education equals. And then she took some photos:

Educating a girl doesn’t just change the life of the girl – it impacts her family and those around her. When girls receive equal access to education, they marry later in life, they have fewer children, they add great value in the workforce, and they know how to keep their families safe and healthy. Educating girls means that entire communities and countries are transformed.

Join us as we partner with 10×10 to celebrate the first annual “International Day of the Girl” on October 11. The goal is simply to get people excited about what can happen when you educate girls. You can host a party, hold small group discussions, or just get some people walking by on campus to answer the equation and snap a photo! (WorldVisionActs.org)


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Photo Friday: A Cry for Freedom

Today’s photos come with some beautiful text. Oscar B. Castillo wrote the following words and took the series of pictures you will find at this link.

A chronicle of the freedom fighting in Kashmir.

Kashmir: I found myself in the middle of that disputed, controversial piece of ground. It is another one of those magic places where the daily landscape should be defined by it’s natural beauty, but instead is carved by blood and fire. I was lost in my first face to face contact with the Muslim world. A virtually unknown world where I was born and a misunderstood world in my adoptive home.

In between the Temples and Mosques, I tried to understand the conflict with its invasion of half million Indian soldiers, its 10,000 missing persons, 90,000 murders, and its normalization of sexual violence. I tried to wrap my head around its innocent blood, its guilty blood, and its undefined blood. In most cases the beautiful landscape is the only objective witness to this excess in violence.

In Kashmir freedom sounds great but is far away, peace is a “never”, and war is “not always”. Sometimes without war but never with peace. There are always periods of tension, conflicts, aftermaths of conflict, truces, the signing of treaties, conventions and agreements, but there is never peace, much less justice. Justice must go far beyond the punishment of criminals and it must aim to guarantee the respect of human rights and life. It must be a justice that tells the thousands of orphans that their experience will not be repeated indefinitely and they won´t have to be the next vendetta martyrs of a endless fight.

Real justice for all, not that mid-night “justice” where the suspect is surprised in the middle of a dream, and blindfolded and handcuffed is taken to an unknown destiny. Not that “justice” that opens fire over its people demonstrating for food and work, for respect and the right to self determination. Not that “justice” that sometimes smiles but takes any opportunity to beat, shoot and put those in jail that ask for independence.