Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Visiting a barrio school

On Tuesday JohnG, Marcia, and I took a taxi across town to the barrio school where she works. She used to teach English and art, but now does mostly fundraising. The taxi let us off near the cemetery and we walked the rest of the way due to street construction. The walk through the barrio was quite an experience. So much poverty. But the people are friendly.

School entrance.jpg
The school entrance.

School and mural.jpg
The barrio school Los Gorrioncitos (The Little Birds)

School interior.jpg
The school interior. Lunch is served here for students, and for other kids who live in the barrio.

JohnG and I (and Marcia) are walking down the muddy street with probably about $8000 worth of camera equipment hanging around our necks and in our backpacks. But no one is threatening or unfriendly. Just the opposite. I guess JohnG and I must be really bad-ass looking dudes. Or maybe it's just that most people here, especially the kids, know Marcia and love her. One of those two things -- I'm not sure which.

School barrio-2.jpg
Uh Dude, where are we going?

JohnG and I shot photos and video for a couple of hours. Shots of the kids, the playground, and shots of Marcia and the school administrator, (I'll put her name here later), interviewing a dozen students and their mothers who've been invited to apply for scholarships that will help the families continue their education. This school is free, but the kids need money to continue on, for books, shoes, clothes, and possibly tuition (I'm not sure -- I'll check that out). The current scholarship money came from a generous family in the US. Some families in this school have a monthly income of $100, and the family is large.

Throwing rocks in the barrio.jpg
Barrio kids throwing rocks at us. Just kidding! They're playing a game.

Needless to say, we got a lot of great shots. When we left, we took the long way through the barrio to get more shots, and to walk as far as possible with a couple of young sisters who live down that way. Sorry I haven't posted video yet, but soon. I'll also grab some shots from JohnG to post. His shots are really great, and he's probably the only person I know that shoots more than I do.