Aside

On a recent trip to Ecuador, I had the fortune of traveling to El Valle del Chota, a town about 3 hours away from the Andean country’s capital, Quito. I traveled with a small film crew on assignment for a documentary, Dreamtown http://www.voicesofdreamtown.com directed/produced by Betty Bastidas, which follows three Afro-Ecuadorian soccer players at different stages of their careers as they pursue their dream- – achieving a better life, financial security through the sport.

IMG_3280While I was in El Chota just for one day, walking around its dirt roads, meeting the friendly, smiling faces that greeted me at every corner, I couldn’t help but to be immediately captured by the beauty of the simple way of life, and the utter beauty of the Andes embracing its fragility.
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Perhaps it was because I went void of any preconceived ideas of what I might find, so many people had spoken of the town’s poverty and marginalized Afro-Ecuadorian community. “No opportunities exist,” I was warned. So there I was on a hot, sunny Sunday attempting to capture a critical moment in one of our characters, Carlos Maldonado, life as he realizes his World Cup dreams might just have been shattered after losing a soccer contract. But there it was… within the dilapidated, humble and quite small houses that I felt were large enough to home families…. faith. Faith in a better future. Faith that no matter how little one has, there will be enough to go around. That the next-door neighbor, or the one down the block, opens the door to you with caring, and that the community really is invested in everyone’s security. Doors unlocked, neighbors are neighbors looking out for each other. Children with holed-shoes are passing a soccer ball to one another. All smiling and calling out for better passes.
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This touched me. This inspired me to think deeper about what motivates a story, and where within us do we need to go to strip our vanity and tell a story with real, down-right honesty, simplicity and passion. It’s not what we may think sometimes, or the attitudes that we are better off so we MUST be in a better place to know real happiness and privilege. For me, I realize, it’s about capturing unshakeable faith in each other. This I had to share.

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Dreamtown – Soccer in the Andes


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Pacific Ocean Sunset- Laguna Beach


Taking in the Pacific Ocean’s summer breeze on a warm summer evening from Laguna beach is spectacular.
Nature is always the perfect backdrop to any story. Mine has begun.

Summer’s Sun Glow


First day of July so I decided to go for a walk in the sweltering 95+degree, NJ heat. Love days like this. Every second counts when you are taking in the sun, as it fades below the horizon. Reminds me of a time of innocence – when I was a child in a town not too far away, jumping rope with the girls on the block, playing hide and seek with all the kids. Just a little sun glow before the night. If you stare at it for more than a few seconds, you can’t help but feel warm.

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Dusking in the Park

This gallery contains 9 photos.


Summer is in the air and tonight’s┬ásunset is exquisite in North Jersey. On a 2-hour walk around a pond near my home. Every few steps I stop to take in the those moments. You know, those picture-framing worthy life shots … Continue reading

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Not Just Another Writer’s Day

This gallery contains 30 photos.


Today was beautiful. It was a perfect Saturday. The sun warmed me on my hour’s walk to get some sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Nothing like some soul food to fight the numbing sensation of writer’s block that has been brought … Continue reading

Made in the USA (MUSA) – the Color of a Dream


 

Reclaiming the dream starts with silencing the darkness. Get ready for the stories that will remind you….

The Empire State of Mind



Hello NYC!

Blue skies are upon us and Spring is in the air in NYC. Can’t think of a better way to shake off the winter blues and get mega inspired than by strutting through the colorful, animated and boisterous streets of good ole Manhattan. Yes, nothing like the Empire state of mind to get the energy flowing and recharging the creative channels. How do you get inspired?

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Whose Woods are These Surrounded by Fog?

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Nothing like nature’s reminder of the captivating beauty that surrounds us, everyday. Fog provides a mysterious yet soothing backdrop to the winter-laden forest that has been ┬áblanketed by its moisture, which the slippery ice failed to get.

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Fall for Him


Fall for Him

Oil on Canvas, by Giovanna Aguilar. Just celebrating the art of man. (painted in the Fall of 09)