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ecuador, por favor


When I was 18 I took my first flight ever. And I crossed the Ocean to live with a family of campesinos in the Andes. I was studying Rural Development at University, and thought life was the only way to understand books. What I found in this tiny village not visible on the maps still today, was beyond my expectations and imagination. Today, after many travels around the world, I treasure these moments as the most significant of my personal and professional life. Pictures were taken with a compact film camera I used to carry with me during school trips.

[year: 2000]

At 6 pm sharp, every day, fogs were climbing the mountains and embracing the community in a fairy-like atmosphere. Daniel was playing on the grass. When I caressed him, his skin was rough. I will always remember that touch.
At 6 pm sharp, every day, fogs were climbing the mountains and embracing the community in a fairy-like atmosphere. Daniel was playing on the grass. When I caressed him, his skin was rough. I will always remember that touch.
Margarita’s kids: Nathalie, Aleix-Santiago, Max. They were playing on the backyard with something I couldn’t identify. I got closer to ask what they were doing. Nathalie, with the sweetest voice ever, answered “la pelota” and showed me a ball of rags wrapped with brown sellotape.
Margarita’s kids: Nathalie, Aleix-Santiago, Max. They were playing on the backyard with something I couldn’t identify. I got closer to ask what they were doing. Nathalie, with the sweetest voice ever, answered “la pelota” and showed me a ball of rags wrapped with brown sellotape.
ecuador, por favor
Children of the local school are having a break. There was only a single class with kids of mixed ages.
Children of the local school are having a break. There was only a single class with kids of mixed ages.
This market was the only opportunity for campesinos to sell their food beyond subsistence agriculture.
This market was the only opportunity for campesinos to sell their food beyond subsistence agriculture.
A view of the community from the top, with the central square on the right corner. Houses were all scattered on the hills, in between maiz, frijoles, y caña fields.
A view of the community from the top, with the central square on the right corner. Houses were all scattered on the hills, in between maiz, frijoles, y caña fields.
Campesinos were living all over the hills.
Campesinos were living all over the hills.
The big sister is holding the end of the little one, while carrying the baby brother on her back.
The big sister is holding the end of the little one, while carrying the baby brother on her back.
On Saturdays, we used to walk down to the closest village. It took us 3 hours walk off-track.
On Saturdays, we used to walk down to the closest village. It took us 3 hours walk off-track.
I remember taking the picture of this girl because she reminded a young-me. I soon realised there’re traces of each of us all over the world.
I remember taking the picture of this girl because she reminded a young-me. I soon realised there’re traces of each of us all over the world.
Margarita, our lovely host. We lived in her house, and she cooked for us every day. I will always remember the late afternoon that she asked me to accompany her to harvest some sandia for dinner from her finca. We took a long walk in the fog, I asked her how could she recognize her land from what - to me - looked like a chaotic overlap of fields. She didn’t answer, and went straight with her machete to cut what we needed. She doesn’t know it, but I still wear every single day the ring that she gave me one day that I fell sick.
Margarita, our lovely host. We lived in her house, and she cooked for us every day. I will always remember the late afternoon that she asked me to accompany her to harvest some sandia for dinner from her finca. We took a long walk in the fog, I asked her how could she recognize her land from what - to me - looked like a chaotic overlap of fields. She didn’t answer, and went straight with her machete to cut what we needed. She doesn’t know it, but I still wear every single day the ring that she gave me one day that I fell sick.
Orfelina and her kids are posing in front of their house.
Orfelina and her kids are posing in front of their house.
Child mothers were not uncommon in the community.
Child mothers were not uncommon in the community.
The market in the village. I remember I was impressed by the fact that meat was not stored in a refrigerator. I didn’t know I would have seen many more of those markets in my life.
The market in the village. I remember I was impressed by the fact that meat was not stored in a refrigerator. I didn’t know I would have seen many more of those markets in my life.
Landscape on the way back to Quito.
Landscape on the way back to Quito.

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