I am now collaborating with Hispanic Culture Online http://www.hispanic-culture-online.com
as a monthly contributor sharing my photography of Latin America along with insights about my travels and Latin American culture. Below see my September and October photo contributions:
El Barrio La Boca
This photo is one of the first ones I selected for the Fotografía of America Latina collection. The mixture of colors, textures, and varying shapes is symbolic of the different cultures in Latin America. In fact, Italian immigrants and many of European descent settled this Barrio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, called La Boca. It became a working-class neighborhood where the houses were built from left over corrugated iron and other waste found in the nearby harbor and then painted the houses in bright colors to make them look more attractive. The vibrant colors offered a spirit of optimism at a time when conditions were poor. The magic of color and textures has always been associated with Latin American culture, indeed, perhaps a representation of the optimistic, vibrant spirit of the Latin people which is a great big mixture of so many different countries and cultures.
While visiting La Boca, I went to La Bombonera, to watch the Boca Juniors play soccer, which is one of the world’s best-known football teams. To go to a football game in Argentina, was to have a cultural experience. To holler and root for the Boca Juniors and be in the midst of madness was not only to feel the culture but to be a part of it. It was a colorful experience well suited to accompany the rhythm of culture in La Boca.
The men of Santiago, Guatemala take a lot of gusto in looking good in their traditional street wear attire. I was impressed at their ease walking around town wearing what appeared to be a costume, but in fact, the short stripe pants, red shirt, sash around the waist and straw hat is the traditional attire in this small Mayan village on Lake Atitlán.
In these modern times, not all the men in Santiago wear the traditional costume, but much to my surprise many still do. The man on this photo was the first man I’d seen dressed in this manner. At first I thought he’d just attended an event where the costume was required, but soon realized many men throughout the village were wearing exactly the same outfit. It was lovely to see the sense of pride in their traditions and culture. This scene caught my attention and I was compelled to take the photo, as it captured the mood of that lazy hot sunny day when we strolled around the village observing the people of Santiago and their way of life.
El Guapo is one of my best selling cards in my Fotografía of America Latina Cultúrame Greeting Cards Collection. The card reads: “¡Oye, Guapo! It must have been quite a party! Se me olvído… Sorry I missed your birthday.” Buy it online at www.culturame.com