Camden photo exhibit captures the women of Cuenavaca, Mexico

The gals are fighters, luchadores, wrestling with challenges like poverty, trauma, abuse, absence of education and couple opportunities to strengthen their lives or the lives of their children.

And nonetheless, they chortle. They smile. They are lively and stunning, no matter if scarcely out of their teens or in their eighth 10 years. 

Their portraits, taken in Cuernavaca, Mexico, by Thom Goertel in January 2020, reflect tiempo y belleza — time and beauty — and give this pictures exhibition coming to Camden FireWorks on March 20 its title.

“Images is about accessibility,” stated Goertel, a retired visual communicator, photographer and animator whose perform has been shown at the White Property. “Obtaining obtain and a window into these women’s lives was profound. It was a person of all those times when you might be truly satisfied to be doing what you’ve got selected to do.”

'Edith With Altar' shows Edith Hernandez Contreras, 21. It's one of 35 photos in an upcoming exhibition at Camden FireWorks.

Goertel 1st went to Cuernavaca in 2017 with Sean Dougherty, executive director of VAMOS! (Vermont Associates for Mexican Chance and Assistance), a nonprofit that associates with nearby communities in Mexico to provide employment, training, food items, health care and other aid to ladies and little ones. The two have been friends given that finding out collectively at Temple University in the 1970s.

'Agustina's Smile' shows 77-year-old Agustina Reyes Marquez of Cuernavaca, Mexico.

“I don’t forget on the airplane on the way residence, I couldn’t end contemplating, I need to have to go back again once again and concentrate on documenting the women of all ages there,” Goertel recalled. 

He returned with Dougherty in January 2020, packing negligible tools and capturing portraits of 36 ladies in excess of five days.

“In some cases when you are hunting at a baby, you can see the adult they might increase into. Or I might look at someone more mature than me, and see the child they after have been,” explained Goertel, who life in Washington, D.C. “I saw the natural beauty in these girls, and I needed to doc that splendor and demonstrate how time and the lives they lived have formed that attractiveness.”

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Dougherty, a parishioner at Sacred Heart Parish in Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden, spelled out that VAMOS! began 35 a long time ago, and its mission is to do no matter what the people today of Cuernavaca require: “We began by inquiring them, what do you will need?”

'Teresa Laughing' shows 29-year-old Teresa Cruz Morales.

The nonprofit has developed to make use of 70 people — 65 of them women of all ages, and only one particular, Dougherty, in the United States.

“All the things, every choice is produced by the workforce in Mexico,” extra Dougherty, who handles fundraising and grants for VAMOS!. 

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