When Liz and Shelley went down to Oaxaca in May, they brought with them about 45 framed photographs of the MZ weavers and their families. It was our gift to them, and an especially significant one, as family photograph are rare and considered very special in an average home in Teotitlan del Valle.
We chose our second birthday party as a good occasion to give them out, and they loved it! They were so excited to look at everyone’s photos, not just their own. And when they were told that they were gifts and that they should take theirs at the end of the party, they were even more excited. The kids really loved looking at them as well and picking their parents and themselves out of the array.
As it turns out, we are not the only ones who noticed the lack of family photographs in many homes, and who wanted to offer this small gift and with it, the potential is has to contain a lasting precious memory.
Jodi, a volunteer with local microfinance non-profit Fundacion En Via, has started a program called Corazon de Luz, or ‘Heart of Light,’ which is dedicated to giving the gift of family photographs to the people of rural Oaxaca.
En Via is an organization close to our hearts, as over 50% of the MZ staff either currently, or at one time, were involved with it, and many of the MZ weavers either are, or used to be, recipients of their loans.
According to the Fundacion En Via blog, Jodi had taken lots of photos during her time working as volunteer and she was overwhelmed by the reaction she received when she gave some of them as gifts to the subjects.
She realized that most families did not have a camera, and very few had photos in their homes at all. It has become her mission, along with the help of other volunteers, to provide photos to some 600 families in small communities of Oaxaca.
In this age of multitudes of digital photos, a single family photo is worth a lifetime of memories.