Faces Behind the Chocolate

In the cacao-growing region of Southern Belize, chocolate is a family affair. This past spring I spent two weeks in Belize shadowing the Maya Mountain Cacao operations, surveying farmers, and joining the buying team. What started with a survey would often end with a conversation. With some, our conversation lasted an hour; with others, it lasted days. Some offered me a chair to it on, a cup of their cacao, homemade meal, or even a place to stay. At the end of every conversation I asked if I could take their picture. The portraits in this series touch a nerve of pain, love, and tenderness simultaneously. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   When you look at these pictures, what do you see?

Take your time.

I see a family standing together. I see kids with smiles on their faces. I see a proud father. I see hunger--not in the sense of physical starvation--but hunger to strive, achieve, and work hard. I see generations of beauty, a hand-embroidered dress, and a man and a women who built their house together.   I see human beings.  

Faces

Faces open spaces Conversations between two strangers, Emotions speak through eyes.   Wrinkles, maps to the soul Creviced, sun-kissed, and beautiful Some things ripen with time.   Hands that weave textiles, Chop the wood, harvest, and plant the seeds Spinning cycles of creation.   Arms strong at any age Crossed, unfolded, hidden behind Stories they choose to tell.   Proud gazes looking straight Their eyes implore you to question: Are we that much different?
   

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