47 comments on “Faces from a Guatemalan Village

  1. This is beautiful. My dad is from Guatemala, and to be honest, my family’s stories make me a little scared to go, so I really admire what you’ve done here.

  2. wow! beautiful photos! I agree with you completely on how incredibly honest these pictures are… no pretense, no phoniness…..no vanity…. and they are truly wonderful, just as they are.

  3. Great job! Gaining the trust of the local population must have been an amazing experience and a great accomplishment.

  4. These are beautiful, make me want to go visit and see firsthand the beauty and honesty of the are, it’s a pity more people can’t appreciate the wonder and allow people to live unmolested.

  5. Thank you for these pictures! They are beautiful.

    I traveled around Guatemala in the early ’70s and loved it. The people were so kind and hospitable. They took such gentle care of us – two 20 year olds on their first trip away from Canada.

    6 months after we were there there was a terrible earthquake and whole villages we visited were wiped out.

    Then, of course, came the war and things would never be the same. Thankfully there was Dr. Snow and his Gualtemalan Forensic Anthropology team to ensure that at least some of the truth about the ethnic purging came out.

  6. I can’t describe the emotions that these photos
    and the description of the trip cause on me. But
    I really agree with your job, and over that, with
    the inspiration that you can promote to other
    people in the pursuit to show reality. Thanks a
    lot for what you’re doing, I really want to have
    one experience like that someday.

      • I would happily give you a photo for Bali- if you’ll fly me out there to take it! 🙂 Unfortunately I haven’t been there myself yet so I don’t have any of my own shots, but I’m always happy to take a commission… 😛

  7. It’s interesting that the females wear traditional dress, but the males seem to dress more modern. Did you find out why this was?

    Also, when you take their photos, do you later send them copies? It would seem like that would make them very happy. Most of them probably don’t own a photo of themselves or their children.

    • Hola Señora López y gracias para sus palabras. I think in very many cultures it is common for women to take on more conservative traditional roles while men are more freed from tradition. I see it all around the world. I think as a rule it is reflective of a male dominance in society where there is a fear that women who are freed to embrace modernity will not be as easily controlled (by husbands, fathers, brothers…). However this is a vast oversimplification and by contrast there are plenty of places in society where women chose to embrace tradition as a form of safety, reliability protection, pride, and self-worth/identity. I would guess that most often it is a confluence of the two, and some form of social/cultural dialogue that takes place. Generally speaking, inbalance in how gender roles and how men and women appear in a society makes me uncomfortable and is an indicator of a deeper power relationship.

      When I take photos I often have the desire to make copies and send them, but I have to confess that I very rarely am able to do this. Partly this is a practicality thing- it is not easy to send photos from Australia (or wherever) back to the places the photos came from, as they are often quite remote and often very spontaneous. Additionally, because I shoot in RAW format and my photos need to be processed, there is often a period of weeks or months after I return home before photos have been completed, and this also further complicates. I would very much like to change this however, as I agree with you it is something they would value.

      Thanks for your time.

  8. Your work is exactly why I am in school for photography.. If I had the funding, Wanderlust would be the product lol Thank you for these images and for showing those of us with longing in our hearts to photograph the world that dreams can come true.

    • Thanks very much Lindsey, thanks for the sentiment and your kind words. I wish I had some funding too- that would be rather nice! 🙂 But yes, dreams can come true, and I wish you all the very best with yours as you continue to study photography.

    • PS- All the best with your travel to Nepal- it is a spectacular country and holds a dear place in my heart.

  9. 赚中国人民币支持台湾独立

    台湾是台湾 中国是中国






  10. I have been to Guatemala, and the country and people are beautiful, and so are your pictures. Peace and love….

  11. I think you have resurrected Gautemala in the virtual world. You are very modest .These are great photographs…

    • Thank you Dhanya. If I am modest, then you are extremely gracious. I appreciate your compliment very much.

  12. Excellent documentary work. I especially like the achievement with the black and white image, but all convey what they already said Robert Frank as the best achievement of a good photographer: the humanity of the moment, in this case humanity concentrated in those simple faces of Guatemala.

    • Gracias Nelson. Capturing the spontaneous humanity of a subject is absolutely what I aspire to in portrait photography, so your encouragement means a lot to me. Thanks. 🙂

  13. Hi there,
    I’m a student doing a sociological case study on social change, in particular the kind you mentioned “ML” working for. I’m interested in her community development work, and I was wondering if she had a site of her own. If you feel free to give me any information that would be wonderful!

    p.s. great adventures! I’ll be starting mine soon in Ecuador this summer!

    • Thanks Emily- all the best with your ongoing adventure. I’ll send an email directly to your account to discuss your query further.

    • Thanks Chris- much appreciated and thanks for following along mate. Is the website you’ve linked tongue-in-cheek, or a subtle way of sharing some information with the world…? 🙂

  14. Thanks to see my work trought your eyes of compasion and friendship. I am blushing over here now. For those who are committed with community improvement and put their lifes on service to the community leaders capacities its my message because I never work alone there`s always a local team who teach me how to do it. The most important, in my experience, its to listen them cause they always have more knowledge than me or the local team about their own risk. You have the gift I will ensure this guatemalan people look themselves through your blessed eyes. Hasta pronto Amigo!!!!!!

    • Gracias Maria-Luisa. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and I’m very happy to celebrate your contributions with you. I would love to visit you in Haiti and do some photography with the people there- I’m sure you’ve seen some of Ash’s portraits as well while you’ve been there. All the best with everything you are doing! 🙂

  15. Let me tell you I am committed to Haitian response now. This is an opportuny to rise the communities risks and the right of Haitians to know what to do in case of emergencies but for Disaster Risk Reduction as well. My invitation its for you to see how this amazing country its going over the worst disaster they had in their history ever. The young people here its doing an amazing job with the children in Child Friendly Spaces. Again God is giving me the opportunity to serve the children trough this huge emergency response. I hope you have the time to come and bring us the joy of your special people`s pictures!!!!!

  16. Amazing photos. I remember when I taught English in Santa Maria de Jesus, outside of Antigua, that I ran into a lot of the same issues. At that time, I had not learned much about the country’s history or the terrible effects of the civil war. I was always very wary about taking kids pictures, especially since it was an indigenous community that saw a lot of violence and kidnappings. Great post.

  17. Pingback: Narciblogger Sunday: Two Years On « WanderLust

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