In 2008, we offered the 'Cameras for Kids' photography project to 20 indigenous street children in Oaxaca, partnering with local NGO, Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots. This was a 4-week project, focused on building possibilities for the children.
Oaxaca houses the largest indigenous population in Mexico. There are 520 villages in Oaxaca State alone. Every village speaks a language of their own. As with most indigenous populations, the indigenous people of Oaxaca are often marginalised. Education is not "free" in Mexico so the poorest must choose between feeding their children or sending them to school.
All the children we met from this project has come from challenging circumstances. Most of the children are of indigenous decent (Indigena including Triquis). Some are Mestizos (mix of Spanish and Indigena). Most live in houses/shelters constructed of aluminium with dirt flooring and shared latrines. A lot of the times with a large family, held together by a single parent or grandparent, and or with another family altogether.
Most of the children work on the streets to make ends meet for their families, selling food, trinkets and whatever else they can, most of the time compromising their education.
It was an amazing experience to watch the children develop and grow in confidence as each day went by!
As part of the project, we took the children out of their hometowns, opening their eyes to places they would only see in magazines.
All the photographs in this gallery were taken by the children of Oaxaca. Most of these children have never used a camera in their lives! We finished the project with an exhibition of the children's photography in Oaxaca.
Prepared to be blown away! Every one, given the opportunity, is capable of doing great things!
© liz loh-taylor