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Years ago, while playing a didgeridoo on the sidewalks of Mexico´s Playa del Carmen, musician Luis Bernardo Méndez Sánchez was taken on a magical adventure that lead him to rediscover the same instrument in his own country, in the heart of the Mayan Lacandon forest. An inner voice led him to the Mayan Trumpet, known by its indigenous name ¨Incus Utop Chek,¨ or ¨Tree flower trumpet.¨ Jazmin Castillo Inocente does more than sell books. While choosing and organizing books on the shelves of the ¨Librero En Andanzas¨ (Bookseller´s Adventure) in Mexico City, she´s patiently searching for ¨the forgotten book.¨ I became interested in doing a story about my favorite used bookstore in the capital´s Roma Sur neighborhood as I discovered objects left behind inside the ones I bought for myself. I was coming into contact with mysterious bits and pieces of other people´s lives. I was intrigued.I invite you to take a moment to watch my latest audiovisual and see Jazmine´s fascinating world of books. The Last Cheesemakers is an audio-slide show about Quesos Oliva, an artisan cheese making workshop run by a married couple in the small Andalusian village of Villaluenga del Rosario in the mountains of Spain´s Sierra de Grazalema National Park, in the the province of Cádiz. The town is well known worldwide for its exceptional hand made cheese.The family run Quesos Oliva operation is the last artisanal and organic cheese making operation in this village. They collect the milk every day by milking their own sheep by hand. They only add curd and salt, staying away from chemicals or industrial additives. Their cheese is maturated 60 days before sold, adhering to a recent law.Many small artisan cheese makers from Villaluenga have suffered the consequences of new sanitary laws put into effect 13 years ago, making it too expensive to stay open. Thus, the number of small cheese makers have dwindled in number from dozens to just one. Only Quesos Oliva remains.It´s difficult to understand why it has to be so difficult for artisanal food makers from Spain to get the sanitary permission needed to sell a product that´s 100% natural and healthy, while large, multinational fast food companies obtain the necessary government permissions to sell their products, full of chemicals and additives, that are of questionable health value. I want to share a new audio-slide show about the Queen Bee. If you don´t know much about bees, you´ll find the interview with the queen bee breeder fascinating. This is the second time I turn my camera to the bees, because these vital insects are facing a serious decline in their numbers worldwide. I hope this work helps to protect them by creating awareness. Sharing my latest audiovisual about the Petenera Flamenca, a flamenco music style that branches off from the music of Peteneras, folk music with roots in both México and Spain.The Petenera flamenca has been always surrounded in mystery, and has been one of the richest styles of flamenco music. Some believe it came from the Caribbean in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Other say the name
Audiovisual story about the Black Christ Brotherhood in Caceres, in Spain's Extremadura region.The Black Christ Brotherhood was inactive for two centuries until a group of friends revived it in 1985. Alonso Corrales Gaitán, steward of the brotherhood, explains how the order originally started as a group who helped the poor and buried the unwanted dead, and that today the brotherhood focuses on charity work and parades every Wednesday of Easter Week.The sculpture of the Black Christ by an anonymous author arrived to Caceres in the 14th century and is historically linked to the flight of the Templars from Europe to Portugal. Blind Soccer is my latest team production. Photographers who are blind and visually impaired from the Ojos Que Sienten organization took pictures and interviewed soccer players who like them, cannot see. These photographers and soccer players show us all there´s more than one way to see and live. Their heightened senses of touch, sound and smell situate them and they are not concerned with winning or loosing. Audio-slide show about the monarch butterfly, whose ability to migrate every year from Canada to México is at serious risk. Experts say the corridor they use to fly north and south is becoming obsolete, for several reason, and could put an end to the monarch migration sooner than we think :    Genetically modified crops and agro-chemicals in the US are killing the milkweed they eat    Deforestation in the US    Urban sprawl  in the US    Climate change    Mexico´s illegal logging in the forests where they hibernate during winter months.It´s uncertain what will happen in the coming years when the monarch butterflies try to return via the US to Canada, where extremely cold temperatures are caused mainly by deforestation. Twenty years ago this beautiful insect was the symbol adopted by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a commercial agreement between Canada, Mexico and United States. These three countries signed environmental accords to protect migratory animals like the monarch butterfly, but today two decades later, the monarch butterfly is on the brink of disappearing.This audio-slide show contains pictures taken at two Monarch butterflies sanctuaries: El Rosario in Angangueo, Michoacán in 2007, and Cerro Pelón sanctuary in Capulín, Mexico state in 2010-12 and 2014. Every time I go to a sancturary, there are noticeably fewer monarchs to photograph. The accompanying audio is the amplified sound made by the monarchs as they fly, a kind of buzzing sound,  without effects or distortion. This is how it sounds.Bees and bats are suffering a huge decline as well. Nobody seams to react, and our society keeps using the same agriculture and industrial procedures that are destroying life on our earth. I hope this audio-slide show encourages people to look for information on how some big agro-chemical companies are causing severe damage to our planet earth, in the name of profit. Audio-slide show about The Day of the Dead tradition en Oaxaca, Mexico. This celebration mixes ancient Pre-Hispanic traditions with the European tradition of the Catholic All Souls Day.Every year Oaxacans decorate their cemeteries with flowers and candles. They create bountiful altars filled with food and drink, for their loved ones who have passed who return home on this special day for a visit.To see the audio-slide show visit this link: www.chicosanchez.com/comingbackhomeI interviewed Jose Hernandez Alaves, a candle maker in the town of Teotitlan del Valle. The music bands are ¨Los Reformistas¨ from Teotitlan del Valle and ¨Oro de Oaxaca¨ from San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya. The last song was recorded from a band playing a funeral song during an actual funeral process that I witnessed at the cemetery in Santa Ana Zegache.This audiovisual also includes the following places:  Mitla, San Martin Tilcajete, San Sebastian Abasolo, Santa Maria del Tule and Oaxaca de Juarez.  We are what we eat is an audio-slide show about organic agriculture. Antonio Mulero Tamayo, a successful ecological farmer who has been growing organic food for 17 years, shares what's different about his crops compared to conventional, mass produced food. My images show him and his family working on their farm: the Organic Garden Los Tamayos, located on the outskirts of Prado del Rey in the Sierra de Cádiz in Spain's southerner Andalusia. Rocio is an audiovisual story about the Virgin of Rocío pilgrimage. Almost a million pilgrims travel every year from all over of Spain and Europe to the Hermitage of El Rocío, located in the countryside of Almonte, Huelva inside the Doñana National Park natural reserve in Andalusia. The pilgrimage coincides with the
Built by the Phoenicians 3,000 years ago and used by the Roman Empire for centuries, this salt mine was part of the ancient Roman city of Iptuci. Today this salt mine keeps on giving in Prado del Rey village  in the Sierra of Cadiz, and is called Audio-slide show on bees. Millions of these life giving insects are dying worldwide, killed mainly by chemicals like fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Here professional beekeepers in Spain explain the importance of bees and the problems these amazing insects face, and in particular, why our destinies are forever linked. Farmer Fernando Mulero Ardila has devoted much of his life to searching for and finding currents of water moving under his farm using a pendulum.  For a lack of water to irrigate his crops, Mulero started using a pendulum and became a Audiovisual about Easter Holy Week in the city of La Antigua, Guatemala. In this colonial city surrounded by volcanos, the entire town comes out to carry statues that tell the story of Jesus' last days. In audio, writer Mendez Vides touches on how this week long religious holiday is the town's most important party that has become the social fabric of the town. Puppet show is an audio-slide show about an artist's way of educating kids to not abandon their pets. Actress Martha Tapia Madrid from Perenganitos Teatro Infantil created a puppet show theatre and used a story from her own experience, she titled the story Bow Wow. Some of the best works of art are inspired by the artist's real life situations.
This audio-slide show tells the story of dogs that live in a sanctuary created just for them: dogs that were abused and/or abandonados, coined Painting Emotions is a new audio-slideshow about color and how we can easily forget them in our daily life. It also addresses the human body as an artist's canvas, and how nudity and painting ourselves can heal our emotions. All the art was created by body make-up artist and founder of AKIN Body Painting, Erika Monroy The Dream Workshop is my latest audio-slide show about the General Archive of Dreams and Utopias. Run by artists Alvaro Santillan and Jazmin Juarez, the workshop carries on the tradition of Mexican folk-art, toy making, shor story telling. Santillan says his workshop helps people An audio-slide show about the Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, Mexico. As part of the celebrations in honor of the Virgin of Carmen, residents from Oaxaca state's eight regions travel every year to the capital to offer traditional dances, while the residents from Carmen Alto and Carmen Bajo neighborhoods participate in banquets, offerings and processions throughout the city. Sight in Motion, audio slide-show production with a story about sports and athleticism, photographed and recorded by twelve blind and visually impaired photographers.    The photographers, who are participating in programs run by the Sight of Emotion organization, took pictures of people playing sports in their neighborhoods as well as Paralympic athletes.    In the interview, Laura Ramos, a blind student graduating soon with a university degree in journalism who plans to be a sports journalist, explains how blind and visually impaired people experience and perceive sports, compared to a seeing person. The interview was recorded by Gerardo Ramirez, one of the participating photographers. Here is the story of the Biblical Figures of Puente Genil in Andalusia's province of Cordoba in Spain. During the Christian Holy Week of Easter, hundreds of people in masked costumes represent biblical passages through their religious processions in the streets of this town, Puente Genil. The ritual has been documented as far back as the 15th century, and originates from the
Audio-slide show about Cesar Diaz, a professional dresser of religious icons, from Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain. In this short documentary, Diaz prepares the Virgin of Pain for an Easter celebration in the village of Prado del Rey and explains the nature of his art. I share an audio-slide show about Ines Valdivia Gonzalez, Mother Ines, an 84-year-old woman who runs the Sharing an audio-slide show about El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra Madre mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. El Triunfo is one of the most important protected nature areas in the world, and is situated in the southern part of Mexico's Chiapas state. It is a primary Pleistocene refuge and an endemic area for different groups of plants and animals. As the most diverse evergreen cloud forest in Mexico, and one of the most important sites for bird migration, the reserve is home to numerous species of birds including several of the rarest in Latin America like the Horned Guan and the long-tailed Resplendent Quetzal. El Triunfo is also home to hundreds of butterfly and amphibian species, spider monkeys, tapirs and five species of wildcats, including the jaguar. Audio slide-show production with a story photographed and recorded by four blind and visually impaired photographers showcasing the sounds of Mexico City's streets related to trades that are slowly but surely disappearing. The project was proposed by Gerardo Ramirez, who worked with his fellow students from the Sight of Emotion organization, Edgar Angeles, Jose Sebastian Munoz and Miguel Fabian. I edited the audio and photos and produced the audio-slide show.  Audio-slide show featuring pictures by Raul Lopez Esquivel, a blind man who learned to take pictures at a Sight of Emotion workshop that offers photography workshops for the blind and visually impaired.  Lopez, who was born blind, photographed Paseo a Ciegas (Riding Blind), an initiative that takes people with special needs on bike rides using tandems along the main avenues of Mexico City every Sunday. I helped with the audio and production. Sharing an audio-slide show about the Mexican salamander, the ajolote (Ambystoma Mexicanum). Its name in the original Nauatl language is Axolotl, the acuatic name of the god Xolotl, twin brother of Quetzalcoatl. This amazing animal can regenerate almost every part of its body. In the audio-slide show I share information about this animal and also about the legend of god Xolotl, associated with this salamander. Like many other species in Mexico, the ajolote is in danger of extintion according to recents studies by the UNAM university. Xochimilco lake channels are the last remains of prehispanic Mexico City.  To know this animal ask to locals to guide you to
I'm sharing Organ Grinder, another audio-slide show with pictures taken by Jose Sebastian Munoz, one of the visually impaired students who attended a photography workshop for the blind that I helped teach at the organization Sight of Emotion. Jose has 40% of his vision. I helped with the audio and production.  In this project Jose Sebastian shows us his portraits of his fellow childhood schoolmate who works as an organ grinder in the Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City. Cuando trabajo en audiovisuales muchas veces tengo que suprimir pistas de audio muy interesantes y me gustaría publicar. Suelen ser comentarios sabios que hacen que entrevistar personas sea muy enriquecedor e interesante pero que no encajan en la historia final.  Por fin encontré una forma de compartirlos. Empezando con la historia que hice de la convención internacional de payasos, la Feria de la Risa que organiza la Hermandad de Payasos Latinos A.C. voy a compartir estas pequeñas historias combinandolas con retratos de las personas o lugares que visite. Se puede pensar que es una clase de retratos audiovisuales. Audio-slide show about the 16th International Clown Convention: The Laughter Fair (La Feria de la Risa) organized by the Latino Clown Brotherhood (Hermandad de Payasos Latinos A.C).  I spent four days surrounded by clowns and enjoyed very much every minute learning from this great human beings who live their life to spread cheer and to make people laugh. "The Fighter" is an audio-slide show featuring images by Alberto Loranca, the student of a photography workshop for the blind and visually impaired at the Sight of Emotion organization where I recently lead a class. I interviewed Loranca for the audio and produced the final product. We met when I was working on my own audio-slide show about the photography school for the blind.  Alberto Loranca was born blind. In his photo essay, he uses a toy wrestler and a flash light to illustrate his reflexions on life, in particular the struggles people face to succeed. I discovered his pictures while organizing the association's photo archive of students's photography, and I asked him what he wanted to communicate. I liked the concept and his message, as it is simple and wise. This audio-slide show is different from others I've produced, as his voice is the only audio and his images are in black and white. My Eyes is an audio-slide show featuring pictures taken by Jose Antonio Dominguez, a student from the photography workshop for the blind and visually impaired organized by Sight of Emotion organization, where I had the pleasure of teaching photography this summer.  I helped him develop his idea for the photo essay, he went out and took the pictures and I recorded the audio and produced it.  In this project Jose Antonio introduces us to his guide-dog Bonnie, tells us what it's like for him to take pictures in Mexico City and shows us the people who help him along his way through D.F. I walked 290 kilometers in northern Spain for two weeks from Astorga to Santiago de Compostela. It's the last stretch of the route known as The French Way, which is part of The Way of Saint James, or 'Camino de Santiago.' It's a pilgrimage, and one of the
Audio-slide show about the Gastorenian Pipe, an ancient Iberian instrument made from a horn.  El Gastor is a small village in the Cadiz province of Andalusia, Spain. The residents in this little town are making a great effort to preserve this ancient mus This audio-slide show is about my local pet Hospital. Since I have two cats, Zen & Kun, I've been there many times, as they're our regular vet. It occurred to me during a recent cat emergency that doing a story here would be a great opportunity to learn a I'm sharing my latest audio-slide show: The Sight Within. To do this story I've followed a photography workshop for the blind and visually impaired, run by Sight of Emotion, or Ojos que Sienten, in Mexico City. Seeing blind people take better and more cre This audio-slide show is about why Catholic Priest Alejandro Solalinde decided to open the Hermanos en el Camino (Brothers on the Road) shelter which helps Central American migrants traveling across Mexico to the U.S., in terms of shelter, medicine and food. An audio-slide show about with Reiki master Ramón Quiroz, from La Casa de la Virgen in México City. Reiki is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing, using hands as a form of complementary and alternative medicine, classified as oriental medicine. Through the use of this technique, accompanied by meditation and massage skills, practitioners relieve patients using healing energy. It's also includes some images of Reconnective Healing a new form of healing with energy created recently in the United States. This audio-slide show is the story of Citlali, a six-year-old girl who has been fighting illness for several years with her mother Adriana by her side. They live in the San Judas Tadeo shelter for chronically ill children in Mexico City where they can sle
Audio-slide show about Isabel Alarcón, known as Chabelita, and the home for the elderly women where she resides in Mexico City. This 99-year-old woman has taught me a few life lessons and that above all else to accept life as it is.   I'd like to share so The Natural Healers audio-slide show is produced in the Rancho la Hera, a ranch located in Mexico City Iztapalapa neighborhood. In this place Guadalupe Peña offers hippotherapy sessions. Healing with horses is very effective to cure a lot of illnesses as I spent near two months in Andalusia, Spain, trying to illustrate "the angel" or "duende" of Flamenco, as Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca called it. As a child in Andalusia, old folks told me about how "the angel" or "duende" presents itself in Flamenc Documentary about the Iberian pig (Pata Negra). A very important animal for the Spanish gastronomy. Audio-Slide Show with pictures and ambient sounds in a documentary about El Niño Fidencio. Two times every year pilgrims visit the desert town of Espinazo, in northern Mexico, attracted by the miracles of Mexico's late faith healer Nino Fidencio (1898 - 1938). A mix of religion, catholicism, shamanism, spiritism and faith. Everyday thousands of Central American migrants cross Mexico by train in the search of the American dream. In this audio-slide show they share the danger and the experiences they find in the way north.
Audio-slide show about boxing in Mexico City. Includes pictures taken in Miercoles de Box (Ocesa) and Diaz Miron boxing gym. The story of Alondra, a girl who lives with her parents at a shelter for chronically ill children run by the San Judas Tadeo Foundation in Mexico City. With the current crisis the foundation is facing economic problems. If the situation persist it will close one of its two homes, leaving 120 poor families without the resources to continue their children's treatments. Multimedia presentation about the Pok ta Pok, the ancient Mayan Ball Game. Christ of Health Pictures of the Easter Holy Week in the colonial city of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. Groups of Chinelos dance the Brinco del Chinelo or the Chinelo Hop during Carnival in Morelos state. Spanish colonizers brought the tradition of Carnival to the Americas which is celebrated just before the Catholic Lenten season. The word Chinelo comes fr
Audio-Slide Show at Our Lady of Solitude monastery in Atotonilco, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico's Guanajuato state. In this monastery Benedictine monks pray and sing as they make a search of God. Short documentary about the Island of the Dolls in Xochimilco Lake, Mexico City. The late Don Julian turned his "chinampa," a small artificial island where he grew food, into what is now known as the Island of the Dolls, as he hung dolls found floating ar While animal activists pressure society to stop the tradition of bullfighting Enrique Reyeslira, a taurine journalist, supports his son Mariano R. Liceaga, 17, to realize his dream of becoming a bullfighter.  They defend this tradition and defend it from Every year hundreds of thousands of Mexican pilgrims converge on the Basilica, bringing images to be blessed, and processions fill the streets for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Audio-slide show presentation about Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration. In this tradition Mexicans visit cemeteries decorating tombs with flowers and candles awaiting the midnight arrival of their late family member's souls. Male rodeo competitors are "Charros," from which comes the word "Charreria." Escaramuzas are the women on horses. Charreria is Mexico's national sport.
La Merced Catholic church of Oaxaca celebrates the day of Saint Ramon Nonato every Aug 31st in which a priest blesses pets and farm animals with holy water to protect them from evil and illness. Pictures and sounds about Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling. Masked wrestlers. Presentación audiovisual multimedia con fotografías y sonido sobre la música y los instrumentos musicales prehispánicos. Ocarina, flauta doble, ayotl, silbato de viento, silbato negro, tenabaris, atecocolli o tecciztli y silbato águila. Entrevista e inter Cockfighting originated in India, China, Persia, and other Eastern countries and was later introduced into Greece, Persia and Rome. The Spanish brought the sport to the American continent. Caracas is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Poverty, drugs, street gangs, absence of government and lack of education to children are causing a situation that some Venezuelans name as a war. Sisters Elena, Gladys and Emperatriz Santiago live in a humble shanty home in one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Venezuela's capital. In the last seventeen years, each one of them has lost a son to violent crime which permeates their neighborhood. The only thing they have left are memories and photographs. Gustavo Misle and Deanna Albano run Muchachos de la Calle organization trying to help this kids to escape from a certain dead in the street of Venezuelan capital. Easter Holy Week celebration in Andalusia, Spain.
For six years I worked as a photographer in Venezuela for the picture agency Reuters, EPA and EFE. I spent most of this time taking pictures of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died yesterday, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Hugo Chavez was and is and always will be a polemic figure. Some love him. Some the opposite. But this is a photography blog, not political, so I want to share with you some of the pictures I took in those years in Venezuela.          
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