Posted on March 25, 2016
After moving to the US five years ago I am lucky to say I go back to Uruguay for a month or so, every year. Throughout the years my relationship with the place has changed by the inevitable distance.
Time became more precious.
Meetings, a trip to the past.
The city, a place to rediscover.
The usual flavors, an excuse to indulge so that the flavour lingers till next year.
And every moment gets tinted with the sweet & sour feeling that comes from fleeting good times.
While living there, my camera used to be a tool I used only for particular projects I had in mind. Now, I take it with me wherever I go, I capture the sky, the clouds, the textures and those things that are so typical Uruguayan: the kites in spring days, the electric green grass, the tall trees framing every street, the times with friends by the boardwalk & the humidity in the air.
The images below were taken in a desperate act to remember. Sometimes, when I take the time to stop and dedicate a mindful click to frame the moment, I am also imprinting it somewhere inside me.
Posted on November 5, 2015
The summer is gone and so is my time in Orange County. One of the things that marked this time period were the periodical photowalks or photo meetings with my dear Nathalie. To mark the end of this time we spent a full day strolling downtown Santa Ana. From main streets, to alleys & parking lots, we photographed it all.
Santa Ana is one of the many towns that get lost in the Orange County sprawl. Despite the bad rep this town gets from some people I found it much more interesting, culturally alive & eclectic than it’s relative cookie cutter neighbors.
The downtown architecture shows the decades that went by the city since it’s founding days in 1868. The different signages and stores reflects the mix of cultures and styles. If you know were to look and don’t mind other’s judgements Santa Ana has a lot to offer to you.
Posted on November 3, 2015
I still remember visiting the family graveyard as a child on November 2nd to clean up graves and leave fresh flowers for the ones already gone. Celebrating the dead ones was for me something sweet but very sober and with no major preparations.
In Mexico, it is a different story. It is believed that at midnight on October 31st the gates of heaven open to let the “Angelitos” (young deceased ones) reunite with their families for 24 hours, while on November 2nd it is the turn for the adults. It is a joyful, and sometimes also grieving time, where the dead ones are believed to come back to visit their worldly relatives for a short time. There is nothing scary or macabre about the celebrations, there is also no “Trick or Treating” involved or pumpkin carving.
Now that we live so close to Tijuana, Alex & I decided to visit the city for the day and see how they keep the tradition alive. Despite people telling us how much bigger the celebrations are in the South people seemed to be going all out with their offerings and displays.
The fist thing we did was to stop at the Mercado Hidalgo where every year they do a huge altar to commemorate departed members of the market. They also invite non members to bring the names of their loved ones that they’d like to see included.
Sugar sculls, marigolds, candles, toys, candies and all kinds of different food and drink are included in the altars as offerings so that the dead ones can have them after their long trek back home.
Marigolds are the flowers used on altars and are also seen decorating graves, it is believed that their strong scent and bright color help guide the spirits while they make their way back home.
The merchants in the markets sell all kinds of skulls, Catrinas & even piñatas. Being so close to the border you can also see all kinds pumpkin and vampire themed candies and piñatas.
And even some political ones…
A random portrait of Alex just because…
We also visited the Food garden to grab something to eat. There we found “Papel Picado” hanging from roof, friendly human sized Catrinas, and a little colorful altar with offerings.
To end the day we visited the cemetery where there were people cleaning graves, thousands of marigolds, some altars, mariachis and families picnicking. I let my camera rest and took only the picture below as I didn’t want to intrude on such private and moving reunions.