“You have to be brave before you can be good.” - Brian K. Vaughan
Earlier this month, I spent about two weeks in Reque, Peru volunteering at a school with a group of about 14 others from the U.S. Our job was to prepare the base for another wing to the school, so I spent my first day coating rebar to prevent it from rusting in the salty ocean and dry desert air. I was soon, however, given a new job. Along with another artist, I had the pleasure of restoring an old mural over the playground for the kids. Our volunteer work allowed us to connect with the children of the school. I saw the Pacific ocean for the first time, and our group attended several festivals and parades. The experience was exciting & overwhelming, full of new sights, people, and cultures. I even managed to get kicked by a horse and put on the back of a motorcycle in a parade! (I'm fine now, but was definitely a little sore for a few days, and I certainly don't recommend getting kicked by a horse)
It’s hard for me to find the words to explain everything I witnessed in Peru, so I hope these images I captured can speak to you a little better than I can. I will say that I have never seen people with so few material possessions be so happy - easily much happier than the average person in the U.S. (not to speak poorly of us folks from the states!) It just seems that there’s something to be learned from their spirits of gratitude & joy. After this experience, I strongly encourage others to try things that may be scary or different, to travel to unfamiliar & foreign places, and to simply try to experience life from someone else's point of view. It's enriching, rewarding, and beautiful.
All photographs are the author's own & may not be reprinted or published without express written consent.