A visit to the orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre
I had the privilege to visit the orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre
in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico in December of 2000.
It was a great experience and it was the first time I had to work with lots of children around me and documenting them in their environment.
I was amazed to see the joy and curiosity in these children, even after all their life troubles they have gone through. Their smiles and openness melted my heart.
The people I travelled with left the orphanage to do a scenic tour of one of the National Parks nearby, but I felt it was much more rewarding to stay and interact with the children.
One thing I notice was that they were not camera shy. It takes lots of patients to get a photo without children jumping in front of the camera, but the more they get to know you, the easier it gets. By staying put in the orphanage I was able to become part of their environment and I could then document them playing and interacting with their friends.
The evening before I left, I loaded my computer with all the photographs and showed the children the a slideshow of what I have photographed. It was a big hit as they laughed and watched them selfs and their friends on the computer screen.
It was really hard to leave them behind when I left. Tears were shed, both by me and the children. I felt connected with them on a deep level and to this day I still think of them.
I still have a wish of going back to document it again, to bring more awareness to the public about all the good work that is being done to these children.
If you want to know more about Casa Hogar Alegre, or make a donation to the orphanage, please visit their website at http://casahogaralegre.org