Teaching Photography in Rural Mexico
This is a collage of photos all taken by students (except the group photo) in a class of 4th – 6th grade children during a photography course in an education center in a small, rural village not far from the state capital of Querétaro, Mexico. Following the text is a slide show of their photos. Most are unedited, and any editing that was done was by the students. (ahh the wonders of digital photography).
My partner and I worked with the children and their teacher, herself an accomplished photographer, for three weeks. The class used a basic Vivitar point and shoot camera. The lessons focused (pun intended) on the basics of composition, lighting and exposure. We reviewed the photos with the students after each photographing session and taught them basic editing – cropping, brightness and contrast – using the Picasa editor. They loved taking pictures of each other and their environment, including the village market on market day.
The education center is part of Las Obras de Catalina run by progressive Catholic nuns which also provides services to adult members of the community. The education center provides supplemental and enrichment opportunities for 60 students each day and serves each of them a hot meal, which for some is their main source of nutrition.
The Center also operates a summer camp for 4th – 6th graders staffed by volunteers who offer an instructional and arts training curriculum based on the UN Earth Charter.