Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Picture Tells Many Stories

Pictures I take in Guatemala usually tell more than one story. Much like the Finding Waldo series, a few pictures of a rural indigenous family will speak more with details than with words.
This family is no exception. Maria, the mother in the rear, is reaching out to touch her 2 year old, since she is often holding her or has contact with her in some physical way. Her toddler is in turn, reaching out for her bigger sister, and holding onto her sisters blouse. The eldest boy, who is now the man of the house since that his alcoholic father abandoned the family, stands ready to protect. The family is shy with an American women standing in front of them, the siblings do what families do in Guatemala when they are uncertain about a circumstance. They quietly, usually standing, start drawing close, all touching in some slight way. They watch, not unkindly but wary; the Guatemalans have a history of invasion and the collective consciousness does not soon forget. But the sweetest part of this photo is something you might not have noticed. Keep looking.......note the black stitching in the pink shirt on the toddler. Someone, most likely her mother, lovingly stitched this shirt back together for her.
Community of caring means nobody has to stand alone.