Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yesterday I said goodbye to my friends Cofi, Aaron and Amy, who left Oaxaca to go to Mexico City to catch their flights home. Aaron and Cofi (above) met here in Mexico the day before Christmas, and have been traveling together ever since. I've had a great time photographing their relationship since my first night here on Super Bowl Sunday. On Thursday, they have to finally say goodbye to each other and go home to Nova Scotia (Cofi) and Oregon (Aaron). I wish I could be there to see it, but I'm counting on Amy to take some pictures for me. I'm sure there will be tears. Hasta luego, mis amigos.

Amy, her boyfriend Chel and a little girl from France:
Cofi and Aaron in San Agustinillo:
La playa de San Agustinillo:
On the way home:
My friend Jorg, who is a musician from Germany:
Rob and Jessica, two insane, freight-train riding travelers from Vancouver, Canada:
La playa, tambien.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My neighbor here in Oaxaca is a man named Cliff from Iowa who spends several months a year in Mexico working for a program called Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots. The organization provides money to allow children to receive an otherwise impossible education. Since the public schools here are not free, it gives children, and their families, a lot of hope for the future. The amount of money needed for each student is insanely small, like around $150 a year for a student in elementary school and $225 a year to send a college student through medical school, and they are always is need of more money, volunteers and supplies. Right now they have over 600 students in the program.
Cliff said a newspaper in Iowa was looking for some photographs, so I went by yesterday while the students were eating lunch. I’ve always found children in third-world countries to be much happier than those in the United States, and the kids from Oaxaca are no different. Most of them live in one-room shacks with dirt floors, but they smile all the time. It’s pretty humbling being with those kids. If you’re interested, you can email me (ben@benchrisman.com) or Cliff (oaxacacliff@yahoo.com).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Oaxaca, week one:

Monday, February 05, 2007

Last night after a plate of mole, which is Oaxacan chocolate-based sauce poured over chicken and rice, I was walking back to my hotel when I heard a bunch of screaming from inside a bar. I walked in and found people watching the Super Bowl, which I thought was already over. So I sat down and pretty soon ended up talking to a table of travelers from Nova Scotia, Switzerland and Oregon. They are staying at a hostel down the street, and we ended up there last night eating flan and drinking mescal. I went to bed pretty early because of class today, but took some shots before I went home.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

While everyone was watching the Super Bowl today, I snuck off to Mexico. I flew into Oaxaca a few minutes ago and it certainly looks different than when I was here in October. The riots have gone away, and the graffiti has been covered over. But my coffee shop is busy and they made me a really good drink with chile and cerveza. So it feels pretty good to be back. I'm returning to Spanish school tomorrow morning, and will try to feed the blog with photos as the days pass. As always, email is the best way to contact me. But I have my New Mexico phone with me in case you want to talk.

So who won the game after all?

Flying over Mexico City: