In 2001, I made the tough decision to leave my home in Riobamba, Ecuador and move to the U.S. in search for a better future for my family. Through my church community, I took English classes on Sundays and noticed that my classmates did not know how to read or write, so I started teaching Spanish grammar and literature in quite basic conditions in the church’s basement. I am 64 now and currently a home attendant. I have also been a volunteer at St. Jerome H.A.N.D.S. Community Center for 14 years.
I take photos because it is the story of my life, something that I am experiencing in that moment. It makes me happy taking photos and sending them to my two children in Ecuador. Photography has taken me to new places all over the world and helped me to be more mindful and present each day. My favorite aspect about the pictures I take is the feelings behind them.
I try to keep a positive attitude in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have had the opportunity to talk more with my family and friends, cheering them up when they feel sad or anxious. I am so grateful to be healthy and happy, always smiling to life. Something I want the world to know about me is that I appreciate simplicity in life, and my most valuable treasures are my children and my passion for teaching.
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, students documented their experience with physical distancing and self-quarantine. As we had no access to their cameras, they used their mobile phones to capture the constant changes they faced, both positive and negative.