I love to take photos of children. Here, in the US, I have a difficult time doing it. The constant news feed of fear tends to put people on edge, especially about any male taking photos of children – there seems to be something unsavory attached to that. Perhaps that is my belief, only, and not really the truth.
In Mexico, I felt no such bias either time that I was there. I got up early to walk, noticed children walking to school, alone, in small groups of children only, and all were very nice, polite, and spoke. Yes! They actually give a nice “buenos dias” to me, some, those who were learning English even said hello and tried to speak in English.
On one particular Saturday morning, I was walking and a group of 3 children were in the back of a pickup truck, waiting for someone to return. All three gave me a hearty “¡Hola!” as I was walking by. I returned to them a nice: “Hola! Chicos. ¿Como estan?”. It was a pleasant exchange. They weren’t scared to speak to me and I didn’t feel at all afraid to respond. They still held that innocence within them that the world is a good place and people are nice. I’m glad that they shared it with me. It really lifts the heart.
I found, too, that parents were eager to let you take photos of their children, as well. All that you had to do was smile, point to your camera, if you don’t know Spanish, or a simple:
Yo puedo tomar una foto de su hijo? (Can I take a picture of your child?)
Usually the response was: Sí! Por Supuesto!!! (Yes! Of course). I was never told no. And, for those times that I didn’t even ask, if I was seen, the parents would move the child into full view for me. I really found it refreshing, light. These are my views and my experiences, forming my truth. Perhaps I’m just more comfortable there.
In the lead photo, I saw this mother and her daughter sitting in a mini van. I asked if I could take a photo. She said yes, immediately exited the van, and came over so that I could take the photo. I was just going to take the photo through the window!
I’m glad that, even though there are lots of expatriates in SMA that they haven’t spread that particular fear to the people who live there. It’s nice.