After Katrina, Came Rita

While the ten year anniversary of hurricane Katrina has came and gone, little has been reported about the second  category five hurricane that hit just three weeks later – hurricane Rita washed ashore, impacting the already vulnerable states of  Louisiana and the rural, sparsely populated regions of Texas.

Katrina10 – Children, Education and Toxic Metals

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS -- SEP 12, 2005: A soil sample is placed on a desk in the kindergarten classroom at Secondary Elementary School in Bay St. Louis, MS on Monday September 12, 2005. Samples were collected to look for heavy metals and toxins. PHOTO: Ana Elisa Fuentes for The New York Times.

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS — SEP 12, 2005: A soil sample is placed on a desk in the kindergarten classroom at Secondary Elementary School in Bay St. Louis, MS on Monday September 12, 2005. PHOTO: Ana Elisa Fuentes for The New York Times.

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS -- SEP 12, 2005: Gene Herring, Environmental Engineer with the Mississippi Department of Health takes a soil sample from the kindgergarten classroom at Secondary Elementary School in Bay St. Louis, MS on Monday September 12, 2005. Samples were collected to look for heavy metals and toxins. PHOTO: Ana Elisa Fuentes for The New York Times.

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS — SEP 12, 2005: Gene Herring, Environmental Engineer with the Mississippi Department of Health takes a soil sample from the kindgergarten classroom at Secondary Elementary School in Bay St. Louis, MS on Monday September 12, 2005. Samples were collected to check for heavy metals and toxins.
PHOTO: Ana Elisa Fuentes for The New York Times.

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS -- SEP 12, 2005: Gene Herring, Environmental Engineer with the Mississippi Department of Health holds a clay sample washed to shore from the

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS — SEP 12, 2005: Gene Herring, Environmental Engineer with the Mississippi Department of Health holds a clay sample washed to shore from the “bottom of the Mississippi sound” – the area of water between the barrier islands and the shore. Samples were taken to test for heavy metals and toxins released from the hurricanes storm surge. Samples were collected at Secondary Elementary School in Bay St. Louis, MS on Monday September 12, 2005.
PHOTO: Ana Elisa Fuentes for The New York Times.

GULFPORT, MS -- SEP 9. 2005: GULFPORT, MS -- SEP 9, 2005: DR. Alan Manevitz, psychiatrist from New York, New York, embraces Frances Fields, epidemiology nurse, district two of Tupelo, Mississippi. Both are members of the Mississippi Emergency Agencies on the gulf coast. Photo: Ana Elisa Fuentes for the New York TImes.

GULFPORT, MS — SEP 9. 2005: Dr. Alan Manevitz, psychiatrist from New York, New York, embraces Frances Fields, an epidemiology nurse, from district two, Tupelo, Mississippi. Both are members of the Mississippi Emergency Agencies on the gulf coast. Dr. Manevitz, is a trauma expert who worked with the public during 9/11; volunteered to assist during hurricane Katrina. Photo: Ana Elisa Fuentes for the New York Times.

 Photos copyright Ana Elisa Fuentes

Reunion: Summer of ’64 Freedom Rides Remembered

Reblogged today Sunday August 16th, 2015 in memory of Julian Bond.

AnaElisa

The Summer of ’64, also known as the Freedom Summer was a campaign to register voters, principally people of color and to promote and support their right-to-vote in Mississippi, in the summer of 1964. The project was a collaborative effort unifying community and civil rights leaders, students, and people of faith. Pictured are (l-r) The mother of slain CORE community voting organizer Andrew Goodman with a Mississippi community activist, youth participating in the day of remembrance and reunion, USC Academic, writer, and Mississippi civil rights Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland, and noted Professor, Writer and American Civil Rights Leader  Julian Bond. 
All photos (exception of Dr. Holland) were taken in Jackson Mississippi, August 1994 published in the Washington Post.
Images owned & copyright Ana Elisa Fuentes.  Please do not use without my permission. Thank you.
Video of the 40-year reunion, recorded by Patti Miller may be seen…

View original post 52 more words

(Re)dedication

 Today, members of the Coastal and Valley tribe of the Chumash joined together with members of the Santa Barbara community to re-dedicate the Dolphin fountain at the waterfront.

IMG_5400 The fountain which honors the Dolphin relatives of the Chumash people, was enshrined thirty years ago today.

IMG_5402 IMG_5416The Dolphins face the northern direction and its placement in the fountain symbolizes harmony in the three worlds. Since we are in severe drought, plants have replaced the flow of water; the Chumash people sang traditional  and contemporary songs in their language – to honor and welcome the plants, their Dolphin ancestors and the flow of life; which includes the revitalization of the Chumash language.IMG_5390Ho!

Learn more about Chumash life, culture and song here.

Text and photos copyright Ana Elisa Fuentes. Photos captured with Apple iPod

Dr. Agathe Jean-Baptiste of the Central Plateau, Haiti

bIMG_0026

Dr. Agathe Jean-Baptiste, grew up in the Central Plateau of Haiti where she returned to practice medicine after completing her medical training in Cuba. She is the daughter of Agronomist Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize and founder of the Peasant Movement of Haiti (M.P.P); the oldest and largest peasant cooperative in Haiti, with 60,000 plus members.

bIMG_0019

bIMG_0064

Above, Dr. Jean-Baptiste gives instruction on womb fetal positioning during a Midwifery training course for MPP collective members. 40 members from the collective participated in the free training.

bIMG_217  bIMG_0023HAITI: CHAVANNES JEAN-BAPTISTE

(at right) Nurse, teacher-trainer Maestra Denise Desormeaux asks questions of Midwife student and MPP member Jean Jolles during the oral exam segment of the training. Jolles was one of 40 students, from throughout Haiti attending the week-long training.”I want to work and help within in my community and protect the women in my community,” Jolles said.

bIMG_0081a

Dr. Alba

Yesterday, as I was going through photographs I rediscovered a roll or black and white film. Why I did not see them before? Has this happened to you? I realize that the requirements of deadline and demands of color images can impact the way we see things.. so this is my answer. I was delighted to find this roll of film and it took me back to this time and place in the Dominican Republic, just over the border from Haiti..  Looking back also reminds me of the enormous strength of Dr. Alba. A Haitian physician who works out of a mobile medical van serving remote, under-served populations. In this group of images Dr. Alba is treating hurricane-flood survivors relocated to this camp – a barren, dry, hot and unforgiving landscape. Not only did Dr. Alba’s and her van administer healing, and medicines, the van also served as a social hub for people residing in the camp. An inspiration to remember during Women’s History Month

s035

sIMG_0055

The van funded by the Humanity and Democracy Foundation of Spain. Medicines for the van supplied by Direct Relief International, a Humanitarian organization based in Santa Barbara, California and the American Jewish World Service. Water for drinking, bathing, brushing teeth, and laundry organized by Oxfam International

Haiti

A malnourished woman waits her turn to see Dr. Alba.

sIMG_0165

The woman waiting, gets her turn.

sIMG_0064

People of all ages walk to the mobile van for treatments.

sIMG_0106 sIMG_0134 sIMG_0034

s022

s011A

Water for drinking

s037 s030 s023  s010A

Water for laundry. Water for drinking. Water for brushing teeth, Water for bathing.

Water is dignity.

A Line in the Sand: 100 City Trayvon

Location: Seattle, the question: “Why Are You Here Today”webIMG_2848Trayvon Gilliam of Seattle, “I’m here to show support for Trayvon. For justice” When I asked him if he had anything else to say or if he wanted to add anything else, Trayvon replied  “Isn’t that enough.”

blogIMG_2722

(l-r) Father and son, Glenn and Jennar, a family of Redmond, Washington: “This is my son’s first rally. We attended a President Obama’s inauguration.” Jennar: “I don’t think it’s fair, what happened to Trayvon Martin. Marissa Alexander fired a warning shot and she got jail. Her husband should have gone to jail. George Zimmerman should have gone to jail. It’s good that people came here to show they care.”

blogIMG_2776

(l-r) Son and mother Myles and Vanessa of Edmonds Washington:  Vanessa: “It’s my opportunity to come and participate. We need our justice system revamped. I think the verdict is just another statement of this. Young black men are profiled because of the color of their skin. It’s unjust. I want justice for everyone. I don’t want my son to be another statistic. I am here to represent who I am”

Myles: “Don’t visualize me as a wrong person just because of the color of my skin. Don’t profile me”

blogIMG_2696

(l-r) Two friends speaking: Ahoua of Seattle: I’m here to demand justice for Trayvon. To keep his name alive. I have two young boys of my own. Trayvon did nothing wrong. I do not want him to be forgotten”  Holding the flag is Gwen of Seattle” “I’m here because we need accountability. He is dead. This child did nothing wrong. I have granchildren. Are they next? We are all the same. We’ve all come together, sorry we here again.”

blogIMG_2862At front, is Cheryl of Seattle: “I have black people in my family. I have black grandchildren. We talk about race all the time. All the time. They tell me whats really going on. 70 percent of black men have been, are in, or will be put in jail. My family is humiliated. Humiliated every day. They are terrified. They are frightened to leave the house. Afraid they are going to be the next to get killed. Last week my grandson was blowing kisses from the parking garage to his wife on the sidewalk below. The police stopped him and her, and asked her if that man was bothering her. My grandchildren ask me to take them downtown because they know I will protect them.”

blogIMG_2736Cheryl of Seattle, above left.

A Line in the Sand. What’s it all about?

If you draw a line in the sand, as the saying goes, you draw distinction, sets boundaries,  throw the proverbial gauntlet. Simply say,  enough is enough.

This column aims to address the tantamount concerns facing our environment, culture, society, and ethos. There is no better way, in my humble opinion other than to record the visual and opinion of the person on the street.

Think of it as a visual cross section of Americans.

I really love people. It is the  joy of my profession is to speak, engage and converse with other people. I really do, love to listen and hear what people have to say.

My method is simple.

I ask a question. Write down the answer. Speak back what I’ve heard.

This keeps me in balance as a journalist, and gives the participant the space to add, ameliorate or subtract from the sum total of our conversation.

My twitter paper, also titled A Line in the Sand, may be found here

Yesterday Today: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

webimg259 webimg263 webimg268 webimg269 webimg291Building my website has been an exercise in many disciplines.

Apart from viewing my professional history through my photographs, more and more I realize them for what they are: a record, a document and a mirror of our society.

One of the questions I have been asking myself recently is, how much have we grown as a nation? How forward thinking, have we become as a country?

We call ourselves the greatest democracy in the world, yet we are willing to destroy our natural resources,  sell our democracy to lobbyists whose only consideration is their own profit, and undermine our constitution, all in the name of progress?

Progress for whom?

This progress guarantees no future for our children and in the name of this progress we  give permission to take their lives prematurely in an epidemic called gun violence.

Not only is Congress giving permission and guaranteeing a shorter life span for children they are starving our children and working families while feeding the insatiable belly of corporations. Corporate greed and religious intolerance galvanizes and energizes the chasm dividing our nation, through a violence that especially targets the most vulnerable populations, children. As George Zimmerman said: “I was doing God’s plan.” His  justification rooted in a moral ethic that is supported by lobby espoused religious zeal, dressed up as law, entitling him to take the  life of Trayvon Benjamin Martin.

Have we really become a nation that settles for watching “reality TV” while dismissing, denying and refusing to participate in our own democracy?

Why are these same themes repeating themselves?

The life of an African-American males continues to be devalued and discounted, around the country and especially  in the very same regions that would take our right to vote.

Women are still fighting, clamoring for our right to own our bodies, to choose, to access healthcare.

The sentinels screaming the religious indignation of  ‘Right to Life‘ are the very same guardians obstructing health care outside the womb. The very same group body opposing the collective body of citizens in the right to vote, in equality for all people, of all colors and races, in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and in our inalienable right in freedom of speech.

In love thy neighbor as thyself, where is the love to feed those who do not have enough to eat because the appetite of corporate greed exceeded their neighbors?

These guardians, the very same sentinels whose right to bear arms will stand their ground in ‘Right to Life.’ Right to whose life?

We are in peril of losing one of our most precious pillars of democracy, and that is our right to vote. It is our collective voice. Our mandate. The navigation that guarantees our waters of democracy.

Our guarantee of an even keel for all, not just the few.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I have written a few toward this sum today.

These photographs, my copyright, were recorded while on assignment for the Los Angeles Times and will be available via my archive