In November, I was contacted by UNICEF Honduras to support the office with their visual communication and fundraising by producing a book with stories and photos from several of their initiatives around the country. My boss here in Belize agreed to let me go for a week, and I went for a 10 day – Friday to Sunday – deep-dive field mission.
I spent the days photographing and listening to people, which as you know are my two favourite things in the world. It was an amazing trip – and a very exhausting one – not only because of the overload of new information, long hours and distances travelled by car, but mainly because of the people I met and the stories they shared with me. Life in Honduras definitely has its challenges, many of them related to the widespread violence, poverty and lack of job opportunities – taking all of that in, trying to understand, listening, asking questions, taking notes, photographing.. was intense. Interviewing people about their personal experiences is not easy, you have to keep your empathy chip on while disconnecting emotionally – and just managing that is draining. It’s only later, when out of context, that the mind realizes the intensity of the experiences lived and the emotions kick in again. Combine that with the Paris attacks and globally increased racist sentiment that happened the same week and an overall gloomy time here. It was a particularly hard week, but nevertheless rich in new knowledge and refreshed willingness to continue doing what I do. The importance of giving a voice to these adolescents is higher than anything else, and it was as always very inspiring to get a glimpse of their dedication and young passionate minds. I love this job.
I will share the publication and the stories in January. Until then, here’s a small view of how things went down.
And yes, the local media got to me, haven’t found that clip though. haha