documentary photography

The Photo Week: Witnessing Tiny Miracles in Ecuador

Have you ever had a moment or an experience that shaped your life? Or were you ever surrounded by the worst circumstances that you didn’t know what to do next?

The first time I traveled to Ecuador I was fifteen years old and my mother, who is a Ecuadorian native, took me to see the neighborhood where she grew up. I remember how I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera at the time because I knew that my experience the first trip was special and could never be revisited. The thought kept ringing in my mind that one day I will go back and this time I’ll be prepared. So when William and I decided to travel to Ecuador this year – I was overjoyed!

We didn’t go to a fancy hotel with room service and a private quick access to the beach unlike most tourists on vacation. Instead we traveled along the coast roaming from town to town in a huge jeep engaging with the locals. Through this experience, we came across something incredible and frightening…

We arrived during the last few weeks of March which in Ecuador is the rain season. While traveling from village to village we were completely surrounded by flooded streets and debris. The rain became so hazardous that during our stay, we saw houses completely destroyed and families picking up the pieces of what remained of their home.

documentary photography in ecuador

It was heartbreaking to see families standing on the side of the road waiting for the water to subside. I looked at my husband and said that I could not imagine the devastation they must be feeling. But regardless of the natural disaster, there wasn’t a single frown in sight. In fact the people in these small villages viewed this as an every day occurrence, almost numb to the event and continued working. They possess a strength and unity that I haven’t seen in a very long time and for that, I was able to see the tiny miracles during my trip to Ecuador and how the human spirit can endure more then we think.

(Click on the image below to see the series Milagro)

documentary photography in ecuador

Although this will definitely not be my last trip to South America, I will always keep the memories of Ecuador and the strength of it’s people in my heart. Let me know what defining moment made your change your images on life! Leave a comment below!

Til next time,