Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inside Guatemala's Schools

Guatemala has the lowest literacy rate in all of Latin America. Public schools are neglected, teachers lack access to training, libraries are rare, and books are practically nonexistent. Over the last 2 years, I traveled to Guatemala four times to photograph community libraries, schools, teachers, parents and students for the US-based literacy nonprofit, Child Aid. The following pictures -- all shot within schools and libraries supported by Child Aid -- are a result of my last trip. Although the situation in Guatemala is sad beyond words, the kids exude a joy that seems boundless. (Stay tuned for more...)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sew Blue

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Two mothers, members of the parents committee for the library we helped create in Las Canoas, Guatemala.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Basement Place

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beautiful Marimba, Beautiful 'Stache

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Switch to Amoregain

... and now for something completely different (go)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Andrew Hetherington's A Room with a View

Photographer Andrew Hetherington took photos of - and from - every hotel room he's stayed in for the last four years and created this extremely cool piece of travel photography. It's called A Room with a View. It's incredible how the insides of the hotels rooms reflect, in some way or another, the world outside. He says that "Each room is photographed using the same process, in as much as is allowed; keeping the lighting and framing consistent in order to let the individual personalities of the spaces present themselves equally. No special requests are made and I always take the room I am assigned." 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Run Don't Walk & Stencil Buenos Aires

And since we're on the topic of stencils, here's a group that does some amazing stencils. And there's a load of great stencils in this Argentina street art pool on Flickr.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stencil Art in Buenos Aires

When you're in Buenos Aires and you want to check out the art, you can either go to the museum or you can walk the streets of Palermo and San Telmo and check out the stencils. Stencil art has been huge in BA for years now. Here's a great little documentary on YouTube by Amelie Lambert. Even if you don't understand Spanish, check out the art!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Glacier Surfing in Alaska

I get cold surfing in Santa Cruz sometimes, so I figured Oregon? Pass - maybe when I get an H Bomb. (Right.) Then I started reading about surfing up in BC, places like Tofino, which actually doesn't look so bad in the summer at all. The views are probably a bit like Sand Dollar in Big Sur, only it's colder and rainier. Then there are places like Yakutat, Alaska. Ouch! But this has gotta take the cake:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Argentina's Finest Soccer Fans (Go River)

The Canadian Press reported today that "sixty supporters of Argentina's River Plate football team were being held by police Monday after hijacking a bus and bullying its driver to speed up in a vain effort to make the start of a match, the second football related hijacking in less than a week." (Read the rest of the story here.)

I suppose you could argue that people in the US get passionate about football (I mean, is there anything more exhilarating than a tailgate party in a parking lot?) and baseball (the jumping, stamping, cheering crowd was just out of control during the last baseball game I went to) and maybe even golf. But they'll never touch the soccer fans in Argentina. Or Mexico. Or Italy. Or Spain. Or....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Office Covered Bridge, Westfir, Oregon

Oregon's longest covered bridge spans 180 ft over the North Middle Fork Willamette River, in Westfir. It was built in 1944 by the Westfir Lumber Company.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Best Point & Shoot Camera for Travel?

I'm always on the lookout for the best point-and-shoot camera for travel. One of the fun things I get to do is review cameras for PC World, so I use a lot of point-and-shoots. Canon just released two new cameras in its Elph line, and the 10-megapixel SD880 IS is one of the best P&S I've used. It's particularly good for travel because it has a true wide angle lens (28mm on the wide end). Most P&S cameras start somewhere between 35mm and 38mm on the wide end. Like nearly all P&S cameras, however, it lacks RAW. Read the full review here. The other new Elph that Canon released is the flagship 14 megapixel SD990 IS, which I was unimpressed with.

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Mystery Falls

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Sunday, November 02, 2008

South Falls, Oregon

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Koosah Falls, Oregon

Friday, October 31, 2008

Paulina Falls, Oregon

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Salt Creek Falls, Oregon

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Watson Falls, Oregon

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another one from Shaniko, Oregon

There's really something (what?) about this ghost town (that's not a ghost town), especially in the evening, when the sun hangs low, way off behind the shimmering endless fields and the silhouette of Mt Hood, which is out there, somewhere west. Maybe I can't even see it. The sun keeps getting in my eyes. And up here in this nothingness, off the highway, the trucks roll by and the wind blows and the cold air feels so opposite the light. Everything looks so warm, but goddamn that wind is cold on my bones.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Painted Hills

This is looking over part of the Painted Hills sector of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, in Eastern Oregon. You can guess how they got their name.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Big Skies in Eastern Oregon

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Best Use of a Burro So Far?

Check out this story in the NY Times about a guy in Colombia who transports books to villages on his two burros, Alfa and Beto. (Story here)


One for the Road

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A series of small buildings #3: Whole in the Wall, Mitchell

Monday, October 13, 2008

A series of small buildings #2: Shaniko Post Office

Shaniko is a ghost town, but people live there - about 26 of them. It's odd that a place can be a ghost town but still have living inhabitants. I guess at some point a town goes from being a "historic town" to a "ghost town". The post office is certainly well kept. Letters to the dead. There's a beautiful old hotel here, too, but it shut down. Not enough business, I suppose.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A series of small buildings #1: Dayville City Hall

For some reason I get the feeling bureaucracy is kept to a minimum in Dayville. I stopped here on my way east from the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and attempted to go inside and take a peak. It was closed. I think it was a Tuesday.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sandra Bao on Buenos Aires, Guidebook Writing & Travel

Here's a great interview with Sandra Bao in South American Explorers Magazine.

SAE: You recently finished working on the latest Lonely Planet for Buenos Aires, as well as part of the latest edition of Lonely Planet Argentina. Did you notice many changes since you were last in Argentina in 2005?

Sandra Bao: Buenos Aires (BA) has changed dramatically every time I’ve been there since the peso collapse in 2001 but especially since 2005. Tourism has rocketed sky-high - it took a few years for things to settle down enough after the crash to attract travellers, and then the good word got around. I think this stellar rise caught many porteños [locals of Buenos Aires] by surprise, but it was a pleasant one since so many have benefited from it.

Read the rest of it here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sailing on the Columbia River

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dippin' Down the Cascades

I took a great trip through the Oregon Cascades recently, hitting as many hot springs as I could. I gotta say - these were by far the best. There are seven pools total, all of them at the edge of a cliff overlooking the North Umpqua River. Doug Firs and Western hemlock all around. I went twice, once in the evening, around dusk, and once the following morning at 7am or so. The pools are a half-mile hike in from a dirt parking lot off a dirt road in Southern Oregon. The second time I went, I was the only one there for nearly an hour, until a guy walked up, slipped into another pool and fired up a joint. A woman showed up ten minutes later and got into another pool. Total silence except for the river down below us. For a moment I found myself struggling to believe that this place could exist. I don't why. It was right there in front of me. It was this feeling of wow, no one bought the land and closed it off, built some expensive resort, developed it into a park with an entry fee and regulations and closing times. No caution signs, no handrails. It was bliss.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yachats & Cape Perpetua

(09-21) 04:00 PDT Yachats, Ore. -- Tidepooling along Oregon's Cape Perpetua is mesmerizing enough, but looking up from the starfish and sea anemones to see a bald eagle circling overhead is pretty much unforgettable. It's the sort of thing that happens regularly on this rugged chunk of forested basalt that punches like a rocky fist into the sea. For the full story, see the San Francisco Chronicle.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Grotto

Candles at the Grotto, NE Portland

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shoe Trees

What's with shoe trees? How do they happen? I didn't even know they existed until this summer, when I saw shoe trees on three separate occasions while driving around Oregon. Roadside America defines them as perhaps "the greatest embodiment of the American Spirit you can find on the highway." I like it. This shoe tree is just outside the town of Shaniko, Ore. If Roadside America is right, the tree began, like all shoe trees begin, "with one dreamer" tossing his shoes into the sky.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gene and His Funny Farm

I met Gene Carsey, owner of the Fun Farm (aka, The Funny Farm), while working on a piece about wacky places in Oregon. He's the sort of guy that makes my job worth while. The traveling is great, don't get me wrong, but it's always so rushed. Until I meet someone like Gene, who slows me down, cracks me up and puts everything into perspective. I mean, the guy built a giant cow-jumping-over-the-moon. He has a bowling ball garden and a bowling ball tree. He's got a holy cow, an electric kaleidescope and a giant love pond, complete with 9 ft cupid arrows. He used to keep fainting goats, but chose not to replace them after they died because he felt a little odd about folks laughing at their seizures - no matter how funny they were (and supposedly they were funny). He's a member of the Wizard of Oz Club. And he tries not to take life too seriously. I suppose all the crazy things he's built on his land north of Bend are worth seeing. But meeting Gene is an even better reason to stop.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


We don't get too many speeders here in Oregon thanks to our hands-on approach to deterrence.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hugh & Henry

Hugh is the owner of the Little Pine Truck Stop and Public Pump in Mitchell, Ore. Henry is his 800-pound black bear. I met them both this weekend. Eight years ago, when the sheriff told Hugh he had to shoot someone's abandoned pet bear unless someone took him, Hugh thought about it and said, "I'll take him." Henry only weighed about 150 pounds back then. Today he eats 150 pounds of food a week. "I think this is about as big as he'll get," Hugh told me. (In the wild, black bears rarely exceed 600 pounds.) Hugh pulled out two apples, handed me one of them, opened up his Buck knife, unlocked about three locks to open the cage door, stepped inside and said, "OK, when I say when, come inside."

Friday, May 30, 2008

A long way from home

You know, you can travel to the remotest corners of the United States and you'll find Mexicans working there. I met this guy at Oregon Oyster Farms, six miles up the Yaquina River from the town of Newport. In other words, the middle of nowhere. He claims he can shuck 4000 oysters in an hour. I did the math: That's 66 oysters per minute; or just under one second per oyster. I think it was a rough estimate, but to stand there and watch him plow through a hog-sized pile of oysters, there's no reason you'd question it. The guy was fast. He's from Puebla - he and the four or five other guys and one woman that work there.

I always find it amazing that Mexicans travel so far from home, find work in the most unlikely places and stay. I can imagine the letters home: "Hi mom, I'm living outside a town called Newport way up on the Oregon coast. Got a job with the Ayalas at that Oyster farm. Pay's OK, but there's nothing up here to spend money on so I'm saving plenty. Haven't had good mole in months..."

Maybe it's because I'm from California, but every time I run into Mexicans somewhere remote, I immediately feel at home. No matter how weird the people look around me. And when I'm somewhere like Oregon, it's all I can do to keep myself from leaning in close and asking, "Jesus Christ, but where the hell can I get a good taco around here?"