Every year, in between those lazy limbo days after Christmas and before New Years, my hometown of Cali throws a week-long extraordinary salsa festival unlike any other. So famous is the Feria de Cali, that many around the world travel to see the almost supernatural dancers twist and turn incredibly fast, sprinkling flavor across the stage with an intricate agility. The salsa culture in Cali has become its most representative feature, schools ranging from ages 3 and up are easily found, always polishing and perfecting the next best dancers. The delicious dance entices travelers from all over, who visit Cali just to even get a whiff of the appetizing movements and have a stab at it. The Feria not only demonstrates the rich culture of Cali but also of Colombia in general, through one of the most joyous human forms of expression, dancing.
My trip to Colombia was not planned at all. But one thing and another piled up and it just happened to be that I spent Christmas, New Years, and a wedding in my beloved country. I could talk about Colombia forever, there’s a plethora of experiences and memories I could share. But I feel as though the time I dedicated to visiting this time around wasn’t for traveling but rather seeing loved ones. For this reason, I have little to share with the public, for now.
One day, I will pack my bag and devote my indivisible attention to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Before viewing the pictures it is of the utmost importance that you accompany them with this song. And don’t tell you I didn’t warn you, the music will make you shimmy. You may proceed.
Only a relatively short but seemingly extended journey from Puerto Escondido lies a quiet beach town stitched together by one main road. Often described as being bohemian and laid back, Mazunte thrives on the curiosity of tourists and its fame for being a Pueblo Magico. Its waves are ravenous and immediately hemmed to its long dusty road which offers no shade or solace from the blinding sun. In this road, is where I found Cesar, a gentleman whose persistent energy keeps him bouncing on his toes and moving to and fro. Despite our foul attitude fueled by the exhausting sun and aching hunger, Cesar maintained a very friendly demeanor with my parents and me, offering freshly caught fish at prices that could be bargained and a genuinely kind smile. It is after our picky ordering that Cesar, for reasons attributed to the friendliness prevalent in Latin America, sat down with us to chat. One shortened conversation led to a deeper discussion, one that Cesar spilled even more by the minute. Here, I share his story, his brave retelling of an incredibly difficult journey pending an ending.
Original interview in Spanish, but I have translated the interview into English too.
2017 has been a roller coaster of a year, for many humans around the world and for me, personally. One such change that has drastically allowed me to view life differently (for the better), is to have no expectations. This practice has brought me many wonders and permitted me to appreciate smaller less noticeable experiences and relationships. Therefore, I decided to take my perspective and apply it to a country, and what an unexpected enchanting verdant gem I stumbled upon.
As I continue on my trip, which has been both a constant thrill and a gargantuan challenge, I have planned to improve one of my hobbies/interest/skill very dear to my person: photography. And though nowadays it seems that anyone with an apt camera device can be a photographer, I certainly believe it takes more than just pointing, shooting, and filter. For countless years I have more than enjoyed capturing images and through those years I have certainly developed a style, composition, and a color palette preference. Therefore, right this minute, I believe it is the time I proclaim myself a photographer (how strange to actually express the title). Before my trip, I began this series, with the purpose of showing the world the faces that come and go around me. To further expand my street photography interest, I present to you, the many Faces of Mexico.