Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I’m working on another letter for Casa Guatemala. This one is trying to get donations to send their older students to boarding schools. To brief me on the situation, Angie, the orphanage’s director, sent me a few pics.

I recognized a few faces from my trip last year, but what really stood out was all of the posing going on. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me? When I think of orphans in places like Guatemala, I usually don’t think “High Fashion.” But put a camera in front of girls like these and look out because here comes the steely, ice cold stairs, and the perfect premeditated hand placement.

It just goes to show that a teenage girl is a teenage girl regardless if she is wearing Gap or hand-me-downs from some relief organization.


Anonymous said...

what is the situation at casa guatemala - I agree with the posed picture - does it mask the real needs and conditions there ?

Kelsey said...

I experienced this "posing" phenomenon throughout my travels in Central America. Whether it was at Casa Guatemala or in a remote village in the Honduran jungle. I'm not sure how or why it exists.

I can say with confidence that the kids in this photo are not being posed, but posing on their own.

I would say this picture is not masking anything. Sure, The kids seems to be clean, healthy, and in their best clothes, but is that bad? Should they have tried to capture them on a day when they were sick or dirty?

Since I started writing for Casa Guatemala I've discovered that my letters aren't unlike marketing materials that I've written in the past. It's strange, really. I have to walk the line between showing that aid is needed and also showing that the children are taken care of well.

What kind of pictures to take? What kind of letters to write? Both are questions I can't answer. But now I take much more interest in the letters I receive from others organizations to see what approach they take. For the most part, they are across the board.