I was able to do some traveling last week to Cuetzalan, Mexico. Its a sleepy mountain town in the state of Puebla. After volunteering with an indigenous tribe in the area I ventured solo for a day, exploring the market and the town. The vibe of the town is slow and the air wet and fresh. It was the most rain I have experienced in Mexico yet, but absolutely beautiful with the lush rainforest setting.
Vender near the forest edge.
Cascada Las Brisas, Cuetzalan
Sometimes the right light hits and you just can’t help but run and grab your camera.
-Alex Cancro, Las Estacas, Tepoztlán
“No matter how much crap you gotta plow through to stay alive as a photographer, no matter how many bad assignments, bad days, bad clients, snotty subjects, obnoxious handlers, wigged-out art directors, technical disasters, failures of the mind, body, and will, all the shouldas, couldas, and wouldas that befuddle our brains and creep into our dreams, always remember to make room to shoot what you love. It’s the only way to keep your heart beating as a photographer.”
― Joe McNally
I spent the past week in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. I say this without exaggeration, it was one of the best trips I have ever had. It was full of rich experiences and wonderful people. Many mornings were spent soaking up the sun or surfing. During the evening I played volleyball until the sunset. It was great to relax and live the beach life for a week, but I wasn’t lazy the whole time. One of the first friends I met was a scuba guide for a local dive company. Pretty soon I found myself 30 meters below swimming with sea turtles, eels, octopus and lobsters. One day, I took a small trip to Chacahua. A small beach community where the ocean meets the Chacahua Laguna. The night I spent there felt unreal. As a lightning storm approached one of the locals took me and some friends on a boat down the lagoon to find bioluminescent plankton. Our guide flicked on his flashlight periodically checking for crocodiles as we swam in the lagoon. The plankton sparkled as if the stars had fallen into the lagoon from the night sky.
During this trip, one of the most exciting things for me was to be able to finally have a full conversations with my subjects in spanish. I finally feel like I have reached a point where I can dig deeper into stories by using my spanish skills. Here are some of my favorite shots from the trip!
Firedancers practice on the Zicatela Beach.
In Mexico I have woken up to the sound of mexican funeral processions. Trumpets and snare drums echo down the streets, but the music is not sad it is happy. The processions are not eerie and dreadful, but cheerful and thankful. The processions are more of a celebration of life versus a mourning of death. In Mexico, death does not have the same meaning as it does in the United States. It has been one of the biggest culture shocks for me, but something I have learned to appreciate. Take Dia de Los Muertos for example, it is a holiday that celebrates death and the fact that loved ones are in a better place.
“There are things that we dont want to happen but have to accept, things we dont want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”
Going through the archives and came across these wonderful memories from last fall. Oh how I miss climbing in the cascades! Short post- but tamale making photos to come!
Frenches Dome near Mt. Hood, Oregon
Mt. Hood, Oregon
Royal Basin, Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending my saturday at a beautiful hacienda in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Tlaxcala is known for having many cattle ranches. This hacienda in particular raises fighting bulls. A bullfight was performed, by Jose Luis Angelino, in order to figure out which bulls would be sold. At first, I didn’t know how to feel about bullfighting, but after seeing it I now know that it can be a very beautiful cultural event. There are good and bad sides to it, but in the end it is just another way of life I had the opportunity to explore with my camera.