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Paz a través de mis ojos (Peace Through My Eyes), Verena Bunge & Elana Hazghia’s 2009 Project for Peace

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After the kids had their own excursion to an ecological park on Wednesday with the rest of their classmates, we decided that we needed a change of scenery as well.  Earlier this week the gracious owner of our hotel, Paul, suggested that we take the kids to another town nearby named San Juan La Laguna where they can take pictures of the plantations and a local market.  Paul along with the help of his friend Chris arranged our transportation to San Juan and the kids were eager and ready to go on Friday morning.  Little did we know that our mode of transportation was a pickup truck!  There was space for us to ride in the seats of the truck, but we decided to get in the back with the kids (when else are we going to have the chance to ride in the back of a pickup truck with 15 of the most talented photographers in Guatemala?)  We had the BEST time with the kids on the way there.  We sang song after song with them all the way there, and we enjoyed every second of it.

First stop, the plantation!  Before we entered the fields, we made sure that the kids were keeping the theme of “paz a través de mis ojos” in mind.  Whatever peace meant to them, we wanted to see those thoughts manifested in a photo.  We also stressed the fact that these pictures had to illustrate life in Guatemala, San Marcos La Laguna, and Lake Atitlán to people who have never been here.  “Uds. son los representantes” (“You guys are the representatives”) we told them, but they had to convey that message through their photography.

The kids had the freedom to wander around the plantation, amongst the workers and through the fields.  We began to notice that the kids were really taking note of our past lessons by taking their time and moving their body to find new angles.  We then drove over to the center of San Juan La Laguna where the kids had a chance to walk around the market.  San Juan was the perfect setting for their photos, with beautifully painted and vibrantly colored buildings and beautiful locals dressed in their traditional attire.

The trip to San Juan was a success and we could see that the kids really enjoyed themselves.  Since next week is the third and final week of the project, we gave them the assignment over the weekend to write a paragraph, poem, or any other kind of written prose about what peace means to them.  Once they get their thoughts down on paper, it will be easier for all of us to have a better idea of what exactly they want to display at the exhibition.

As for this weekend, we are back in Guatemala City and beginning look through all of the kids’ photos and preparing for the exhibition.

If anyone is in the area of San Marcos on June 11th please stop by Hotel Paco Real at 6:00 for the kids’ first exhibition!  We will be paying for the flights of the first 100 people who express interest in coming! (Just kidding, don’t take that seriously)

More updates to come!

V & E

p.s. Our blog is now featured on Skidmore’s website!!!

http://cms.skidmore.edu/blogs/index.cfm

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