Two years ago, at a gallery show where I was exhibiting my photography as a student with NYC SALT, I was lucky enough to be selected from a group of young photographers to travel to Guatemala to shoot for the Global Healthworks Foundation (GHF). GHF is a humanitarian outreach organization that provides free integrative healthcare to medically underserved communities. I went and did some documentary photography of the GHF volunteers and the beautiful local indigenous people of Santa Cruz del Quiché in the north-western part of Guatemala. I was pretty nervous at first – for one, because I had never traveled outside the U.S., and two, because I was going to a Spanish-speaking country and I barely knew any Spanish, despite how Spanish I may look.
That first trip lasted eleven days in total and it was an absolutely life changing experience. I was able to see how people live in another part of the world. It made me appreciate a lot of what I had back at home. The images I chose to display here are a select few from that first medical mission and also from another one that I took on a return trip there a year later.
Each day that I was photographing for GHF, I would set some time aside to work on a portrait series of the local indigenous people that were treated by the healthcare volunteers. I would always print a copy of the photograph for the subject to take home with them. As many of the patients never had a picture taken of them, they seemed to really enjoy it!