Yourself in Others Shoes

Imagine….

if you can, not being able to walk out of your home because your hard-earned wages will be stolen by people on the street; or you are of that age sought by actors of corruption within the police force or street-gangs; and sometimes you can’t tell the difference… Or worse your life is threatened. 

Imagine…

Either way, you never feel safe, warm, protected, or capable of staving-off the pangs of hunger for yourself, your family, no matter how hard you work. Fight or flight is more than a knee-jerk reaction – it is the clarion call to survive.

So, you walk for two-to-three months with only a dream to keep you going. 

 Meet Jorge Joyal. He is 29 years-old, from Honduras, and a father to a six year-old daughter. Mr. Joyal told me he walked for two-to-three months with the hope of coming to the United States. The exercise in imagination written above is his life story. While his dream to come to the United States has taken a detour, Joyal, has been offered support and assistance by the Mexican government. He has applied for permission to work while in  Mexico and hopes to have employment at one the high-tech companies offering employment assistance to refugees, asylum seekers. 

The entrance to El Barretal – the newly designated shelter for asylum-seekers, refugees at the US-Mexico southern border at Tijuana, Mexico. 

On Tuesday December 4th, 2018, DIF accounted for a total of 2,331 persons residing in the shelter designated for families with children. 

On Thursday December 6, 2018 acting New York Attorney General Underwood: “13 AG’s are filing an amicus brief today to challenge the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict applications by immigrants seeking asylum. This is a de-facto denial of asylum. It is illegal, it is inhumane, and it must end.”

Attorney General Underwood goes on to write: “More than 6000 Central American immigrants, including over 1000 kids, are stranded outside CA’s ports of entry waiting to present their asylum claims. They are living outside in extreme weather, without access to basic services, so that they can have a chance at a better life.”


In support of this chance at a better life or in efforts to assuage the delay of dreams to a better life, a generous wave of individual community-minded people, in coordination with the Santa Barbara Response Network, DIF-Mexcio and Direct Relief of Santa Barbara, California delivered health-care products – the basics of everyday life such as shampoo, body soap, antibiotic cream, first-aid, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss.. Remember how you felt after not brushing or flossing 24-hours? Imagine for months.

In this newly sprouted village at our southern border at Tijuana, amid lives stranded, one can see signs of former life ritual in children and teens playing soccer, in adding color to hopes and dreams in large scale graphics, and in the power of listening in the peer-to-peer conversations. 

Overview of El Barretal. (pictured center) are Mariana Caña and Maritza Escobedo.

Mariana Caña and Maritza Escobedo are doing such work – listening.  They are listeners, rendering the power of the compassionate ear. Both Caña and Escobedo are students in Psychology at the UABC (The Autonomous University of Baja California ) Both Caña and Escobedo are student volunteers, conducting health questionnaires of the refugees in affiliation with the NYU School of Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Allen Keller. According to his bio: “Dr. Allen Keller is Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture (PSOT) and Director of the NYU School of Medicine Center for Health and Human Rights.

 Perched overlooking El Barretal, Caña and Escobedo, listen and conduct their health questionnaires as volunteers for NYU school of medicine. 

words and photographs copyright ©AnaElisaFuentes                                                                               See more photos or for contact info please go to  the Visura Platform. 


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Winter Sun, Lilting Trees

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Winter, sun

lilting trees

from my series: View from My Train Window

this segment photographed at dawn, sunrise, somewhere along the San Joaquin Valley, California.

©anaelisafuentes/anaelisafoto

Throwback Thursday

 

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Who says California doesn’t have culture?

Oh, heart be still. Nostalgia is in the air … It’s a blast from the past.. Is it a surfin’ safari that’s gone awry? No it’s a 1961 Mercury Meteor station wagon an, automobile manufactured in the United Stated and named for the Mercury space race from a mirrored era gone by.

This surfin’ safari machine, on a warm autumn day, parked under still Acacia trees depicts an era, stood still in time, hopefully an era that hasn’t left us?

An era of civility, peace, and goodness among neighbors.

Oh, heart be still.

 

Art Walk,Wild Art

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Wild Art is a newspaper term that refers to found images that are unplanned, or unscheduled; a branch of street photography you might say. On this occasion I was on a walk with a friend, and noticed our shadows on the sidewalk.. Et Voilà, there you go, here we are!

Yo Creo: I/We Believe Her

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“I Believe,” “Yo Creo,” is written on the hands of over 200 participants during the lunch hour demonstration of support for Dr. Christine Ford in the sexual misconduct allegations against the United States Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh; in Santa Barbara, California on Thursday September, 27th, 2018.

If you are interested in the purchase or license of the these images please contact:

Alamy or Stockimo photoagencies – Images copyright Ana Elisa Fuentes

Thank You.

Remember, Don’t Forget

IMG_3275The American flag drapes Los Angeles City Hall in commemoration of the 2001-9/11 terrorist attack. The flag is reflected in the windows of the Los Angeles Police Department, on September 11th, 2018.

Today, remembering the fallen and their lives given to protect others.

image copyright anaelisafuentes

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I was looking over my photos today and rediscovered this image from Haiti. I had split from my group and decided to take my Holga for a walk when i came upon this group of mausoleums. I observed the reddish-brown demarcation on the mausoleum where the flood waters had risen,…..when from nowhere this young boy, walked into the frame. I was relieved that he was not an apparition. This relief was based on my sense of rawness – from that sense of bearing witness to collective thirst, hunger, and misery. When we had arrived with our supplies we were not rushed upon as people had grown too weak… this was compounded by an eerie sense of quietude – as all the animals had either died in the flood or eaten to survive.

Image © AnaElisaFuentes/Archive

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A crow nestles in a blooming Century plant. The tall yellow flowers may reach a height of 25-30 feet. The plant native to California is also known as an Agave and Agave Americana.

Where Are Our Children?