Meet Nathan Frandino. Traveler and journalist with a focus on education in the international Latino community. He joined us in Salta’s Barrio Solidaridad to teach photography to our fantastic group of Jovenes Construyendo Con Jovenes students.
This was his experience volunteering with us.
It was my first time in Salta, Argentina. I joined Cloudhead in Barrio Solidaridad, a neighborhood among the dust-ridden streets of the city’s southside where 75 percent live under the poverty line, to teach photography to a groups of 13-17 year old students.
We were short on cameras that day. One girl, Maria, who was taller and a few years older than the rest, didn’t have one, so I volunteered my own. After all I was the teacher that day. It was more important for her to have the camera, anyway. Maria’s smile returned.
Nearly a month later, I found Maria’s photos still on my memory card. Browsing through her photos, I realized she has an eye and a natural aptitude. She used the blue and red triangles of the swingset to create a great depth of field . She squatted down by the edge of the slide to capture another girl sitting at the top, also taking photos.
Maria’s photos are a postcard from Barrio Solidaridad. I see their life in pixels. I relive the excitement and joy in her subjects’ eyes that afternoon. I remember the poverty that she and the others still live in. Above all, I remember a connection between complete strangers built on a common frame, a frame showing the strength of a community and power of its youth to enjoy such incredible satisfaction in taking a simple photo.