A Photo Essay of the Rio Dulce

November 13, 2013

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I could start this post by saying ‘I can’t believe we’ve been in the Rio Dulce for over four months and I still haven’t taken photos of the town to show you what it looks like!’  No, there is a reason I have waited so long to do this.  Being a gringo with a camera glued to your face makes you somewhat of a target here.  Not in the kind of way that someone’s going to flash the gun in their holster and mutter something like “We don’t take kindly to your type around here”, but it does leave an impression on the people going about their every day lives here that, to you, they are something to speculate.  These same people that we buy our produce from or smile and say hi to on our trips to the market because they’re there day in and day out.  Oh no, I did not want to be labeled as that person in their minds.  The one who is blood thirsty to capture anything non conventional of Northern America or Europe.

But at the same time, I couldn’t very well leave Rio Dulce without some documentation that I’d spent a third of a year there.  This thought was not lost on me alone.  Luki and Elmari also wanted to get out and record the ins and outs of this town, but luckily for them, they’ll be gone in two days.  Making this probably their last trip into town, it is now of no consequence to them if the last memory the man that rings up their tomatoes has of them, is of them pointing a camera in his face while he goes about his work.  Taking photos of people who have not outwardly asked to have their picture taken can sometimes be an awkward thing, but as Elmari stated, “Today, I am not going to let that bother me.  If I see a good photo, I will take it.  I will be ruthless”.  Which almost sounded idiosyncratic coming out of her mouth, since ruthless is the last adjective that would pop into your mind while thinking of her, but I understood where she was coming from.  ‘For months I was the resident.  Today, I am the tourist.’  So out we went, armed, and with cameras glued to our faces.

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