Saturday, January 22, 2011



Children everywhere are special, and San Cristobal is no exception. The smiles on their innocent faces are priceless. They are well-behaved, quiet, and unassuming. Their days are routine and uneventful. The watchful eye of their protective mother never strays. I can only presume that their lives are not full of adventure, television, X-Box, toys, computers, and the creature comforts most children have come to take for granted. Food, clothing, and shelter are the essentials their parents strive to provide and this is the main reason you will find the mothers and other women walking the streets morning, noon, and night, hawking their beautiful, handmade wares to eager tourists. Oftentimes, the smaller children are in tow, carried on their mothers’ backs, not unlike a sack of potatoes. As saddening to me as it is, when the children are older they become street vendors themselves to supplement the family income. Formal education is minimal. Learning to count at an early age is an imperative skill necessary to make correct change. Street smarts abound. However, all that being said, the children are loved and tenderly cared for as best their parents know how, and from all outward appearances, and even though they are obviously poor, they appear happy and healthy.

It is extremely difficult, almost impossible sometimes, to photograph the indigenous people of Chiapas, including the children. On a rare occasion, you may get permission to do so, but most of the time, NOT! It makes for difficult picture taking. They are extremely superstitious and wary of strangers, especially light-skinned North Americans. There are stories floating around about cameras being destroyed or confiscated, tourists being injured, and even killed! Outwardly, these people are gentle and peaceful, but due to their extremely superstitious heritage, it wouldn’t take much to set them off on a rampage if you tried photographing them without their permission. Needless to say, I always had that thought in the back of my mind. I did manage some clandestine shots and even paid for a few posed ones, and given the somewhat difficult circumstances of creating or taking advantage of a “Kodak Moment”, I am pleased with the results which I will share with you in this post and others to follow.

Most of these photos were taken in busy markets where the subjects were unsuspecting.

Now, enjoy a few shots of some of the beautiful children of Chiapas.


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