On the Road with UNICEF

UNICEF recently invited me to photograph some of their programs in the southern Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. Their mission as children's advocates is to give children a voice, protect their rights, and to support development and education. Primarily indigenous, the children we visited were bilingual in Spanish and Mixtec, Mixe or Zapotec, depending on the community...speaking Spanish at school and their native tongue at home. The main emphasis of the work was on continuing education and disability services in rural communities. Children often attend primary school, but because of "quotas" or school fees (perhaps as little as $30 annually) or family needs, they stop attending once secondary school begins, greatly reducing their options for employment and future opportunity. We traveled many miles to remote mountainous areas by jeep, taxi and plane to connect with the children and tell their stories.