Cool, dark forests lead to baking hot dunes marked with shifting footprints, the temperature begins to drop as we hike continually upward and find feet of snow on the trail, the just-audible sound of swallows swoop overhead as the sun sets red behind distant mountains, and blue shadows creep across a deep canyon. Gas stations with the same salty snacks, drive-thru espresso shacks, street signs and open maps, a double yellow line that leads forward and people who make me smile. Around 3,800 miles and it was awesome.
The Vermont Commons School schedules three "Encounter Weeks" a year, and during these times students from all grades are mixed together to work on a project, hike in the mountains, or travel somewhere interesting. Encounter Weeks were some of the most important times for me when I attended the Vermont Commons School, so when I had the opportunity to lead a photography week in Cape Cod with Jess Redmond it was a done deal.
My visit to Mexico + Guatemala with Food 4 Farmers was one full of inspiring stories, suiting up to visit bee hives, marveling at the natural beauty of the landscape, visiting families in their homes, walking through cities with my two companions Marcela & Luis, informational workshops, tasting the variety of honey products produced by farmers, and, of course, so many photographs.
A week from now I am so thrilled to embark on another trip with non-profit Food 4 Farmers, traveling to Mexico + Guatemala! Food 4 Farmers works in coffee communities to find constructive solutions to seasonal hunger for coffee farmers and their families. In 2013 I traveled to Nicaragua with co-founder Marcela Pino and was able to document and learn about their work with coffee co-op SOPPEXCCA, and see the beginning stages of their program. This time I'll be entering a later step in the process, visiting communities in Mexico + Guatemala that have been working with Food 4 Farmers for several years, and will be able to observe some of the ways this has impacted their daily lives.
I first met Amanda in November when I photographed her for a maternity session in her home in Winooksi, Vermont. Visiting again, it was amazing to meet her happy, sleepy, hungry little newborn in the same space!