Last month, Light and Leadership was lucky enough to work with Tanya Garcia, volunteer photographer from Photographers without Borders (PWB). Tanya stayed with LLI about a week, documenting our children’s classes, our teen center and our women’s empowerment program. Plus, she was kind enough to shoot some video for us (coming soon!).

Garcia is a photojournalist, videographer and multimedia artist who is currently in a fellowship in Baltimore, Maryland with Creative Alliance. She applied to do a project with Photographers Without Borders and they paired her with the organization. Garcia says that she’s very big on supporting women’s issues and couldn’t have been more delighted to be paired with Lights and Leadership seeing as she is of Puerto Rican heritage. The experience connected her to her Latin roots and humbled her in more ways than one. Here’s the post LLI project interview with Tanya Garcia on the PWB blog.


Tanya from The Photographers Without Borders
Tanya from The Photographers Without Borders

With the vision to share inspiring narratives about people and places everywhere through the captivating  art of photography, PWB provides visual media to their partner charities – free of charge – helping to raise awareness and teach others about their goals and challenges. They inspire through publishing the visual media on their website, magazine, and showing in exhibits; documenting change in action and inspiring others to make an impact.

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Thanks Photographers Without Borders and Tanya! Stay tuned for her photos!
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Here’s an excerpt from Tanya’s interview illustrating her experience with the Light and Leadership Initiative:

What was different from hearing about what you’d be doing compared to the reality of being there? What was something you weren’t expecting? 

I had spoken to Lara a couple times before I left and I felt pretty prepared about what to expect before arriving in Peru. When I did arrive she had a schedule out for all of the volunteers who participate, or I guess facilitate all of the workshops and I was mostly just included in their normal schedule to observe where they’d be on a day to day basis so I could film and take photographs.

I was mostly taken back by how amazing the organization really was in terms of the other volunteers being so welcoming and friendly, and how organized everything was. The community was also very open and had a lot of warmth and friendliness to offer.

What was your favourite thing about the project? 

There are so many wonderful things about the trip that it’s hard to pinpoint just one thing. Out of all the work that I did, in terms of interviewing people in the community and meeting the ones in the programs, I really enjoyed meeting and hearing the stories from the artisan women. I thought it was so beautiful to hear their stories and I was amazed at how they opened up to me and invited me into their homes were they live and also work. I mean, their work takes up half of their homes and they work extremely hard for everything they have and are so grateful. I felt lucky to be given their kindness.

I also really enjoyed the whole atmosphere and even terrain of the community, how the houses rode all up along the mountains, the eye catching colours that they were painted. I loved being there and experiencing the different culture, it’s fun when you’re travelling somewhere and humbling to see how people live.

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