Manzanillo del Mar Photo Camp

Alyssa lives in a vereda (incorporated community) of Cartagena in the department of Bolivar, as a Practical English for Success volunteer.


A few months ago, I did a photo camp with some of my students. The purpose of the camp was to allow students (ages 7-13) to express themselves artistically while also learning about photography. My community is very special, a small fishing town made up of primarily Afro-Colombians. A 20 minute drive from Cartagena, it is increasingly seeing new development and tourism alter its way of life. I wanted the photos to convey the strong sense of identity and pride that my community members have and I think they speak for themselves. These photos convey the places, the people, the things that make up my students’ daily life.

Baseball field

La Cancha – every pueblo has to have one in some form. In my community, baseball is just as popular as soccer. On the weekends, there are often games here against surrounding pueblos.


Participant Luis, age 13

Luis, age 13 – was one of the most enthusiastic about the photo camp. He said he wants to work with technology and/or visual arts when he grows up.


black cat

A black cat belonging to Ana Gabriel’s family (age 8).


ceviche cart on beach

Sundays are beach day in Colombia and that means most people in my community are working on the beach. Here, a man pushes one of the many ceviche carts you will find in town.


kids by stream

Guayapito, the name of the stream that runs through my community and ends at the ocean.


Palm trees outside of a hotel

The palm trees that line a hotel on the beach.
brightly colored house

One of the brightly colored houses in our town.


horses on the beach

Tourists often ride horses on the beach.


boy playing with pet bird

A boy plays with his pet bird.


tree in town

A tree, as seen from the local non-profit: Fundación Carlos y Sonia Haime.


flowers in a student's hair

Students love to play with each other’s hair. Here, a girl wears fresh-picked flowers in her hair.


murals by school

Murals line the school in town, where both primary and secondary students attend.


Miguel Arias, participant of photo camp

Miguel Arias (age 9) stands with his camera in front of a neighborhood called El Vecino.

One thought on “Manzanillo del Mar Photo Camp

  1. Hi Alyssa,
    I am Margarita and I live in Cartagena. I enjoyed your photo essay. I haven’t been to Manzanillo for AGES and it certainly has changed!
    I do lots of different things in Cartagena where I have been living for ages (I am fond of saying that I went to school with the India Catalina). I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia (Huila, south of Bogotá) in the 1960s and I have been in Cartagena since the 1980s.
    Get in touch if you feel like it. My e-mail is edited by Oiste. My cell phone is edited by Oiste.

    Liked by 1 person

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