Tag Archives: Faces of Belize Project

Faces of Belize #FriFotos

The theme this week over on Twitter’s Friday Fotos is “Faces” and I could not resist sharing a few shots from my “Faces of Belize” project that I started last summer during my Road Warrior stint for the Belize Tourism Board.  The Board planned on sponsoring my exhibit in Belize City — and prints even ready thanks to my editor at the time (who ironically is co-hosting this week’s #Frifotos) – but unfortunately, we ran out of time on the tail end of my trip.

 A year later, the portraits remain in storage because I decided to wait and have collected more along the way on my independent trips. I plan on continuing to capture and show the amazing diversity in Belize and display them at the right time.

Except for this teaser!  Motivated by FriFotos and in light of Belize’s upcoming September (Independence) Celebrations, this year appropriately themed “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal”, I couldn’t help but share some of these with you.

Behind each smile, gaze and wrinkle is a warm soul who welcomed me to his or her corner of the country and kolcha, sharing time and love selflessly– from different walks of life and different heritage. From the amazing Garifuna musical hero Paul Nabor to Lilly, a Mayan student at Caye Caulker’s Ocean Academy who loves her guitar, to Andrew a Mennonite with some Spanish blood, to the First Lady of Belize, a beautiful Creole lady and humanitarian.  For their stories and more portraits, you’ll have to stay tuned for the full exhibit!

  

Lilly Aldana, student at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy high school and future Mayan musicianMs. Yacinta, shopkeeper in Barranco, a Garifuna village in southern BelizeThe one and only Paul Nabor, Garifuna legend and musical heroAndrew Perez from Barton Creek, a Mennonite village in western BelizeTalented young dancers from the San Pedro Dance Company, Ambergris CayeP6 DSC_3380.jpgDora the Explorer as she likes to be called - Mayan tour guide and lover of archeology Roselle Noralez, cook at Amor y Cafe on Caye Caulker and Garifuna who migrated to the island years agoElton Henriques, stable manager at Maruba Spa & Resort, and horseback riding instructorFirst Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis Barrow, a Kriol beauty

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Postcard of The Week: Rastafarian Vibration

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Elton told me no one had ever taken photos of his dread locks before. He normally keeps them tucked away in a dark blue knit cap, at work and when walking around his village, Maskall.

When I first saw him, well before my first horseriding class, I felt something special about him (all right, besides the fact that he is not so hard on the eyes). When I did meet him, he was genuine, kind and tried his best to alleviate my fear of horses (that’s not ever happening by the way).

While we rode through the back rainforest of Maruba Resort, directing my horse and his, we talked about Ethiopia, his Rastafarian faith and his mixed Garifuna and Creole heritage.

I was relieved to be off that horse after an hour but I knew I couldn’t leave without capturing him. I explained to him that I was collecting portraits of Belizeans for a special project called “Faces of Belize” to showcase Belize’s diversity. That I wanted to include him and that I only photographed people who somehow touched my spirit. He was more than willing. “Anything I can do to help,” were his words.

A few minutes into our shoot he removed the cap, as if he had wanted to do that for a while, letting his locks down and posing for photos for the first time in his life in the hot sun and for as long as I needed.

This is an outtake from the shoot. The final one I picked for my “Faces of Belize” project has yet to be released, along with the remaining 15 portraits. I will share my plans for those in the near future.

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