.Pictures taken by Haitian orphans will be on display as part of the exhibit `Through the Eyes of a Haitian Child’ at North Miami’s MOCA.
BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
Miami photographer Boris Vazquez’s first trip to Haiti was about more than just taking pictures.
In an effort to lift up the spirits of kids affected by the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, Vazquez taught 500 orphaned children the basic fundamentals of photography.
“Many of these kids have never even touched a camera before, but they have a natural talent,” he said.
During a four-day stay in Haiti in June, Vazquez, along with First Presbyterian International Christian School art teachers and principal Ines Lozano, who led the volunteer mission, provided the 500 kids with 250 disposable cameras and seven boxes full of donated art
Pictures were taken by the children and will be part of a photography and art exhibit titled Through the Eyes of a Haitian Child on display at North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., from Friday through Sunday. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is free. The exhibit captures the lives of the children ages 5 through 13 through their art and photographs.
“This a way of bringing awareness to these children,” said Vazquez, who took about 2,000 pictures of the kids, which will be shown at the event as part of a slide show.
Lozano thought of the volunteer trip during a family trip to the country in November. She wanted to help, but artistically.
In the past she has helped the country as students at her school are required to take a course titled “community,” where youngsters learn about global issues and raise money for nonprofit organizations like Friends of the Orphans.
“Now more than ever we have to help these children,” she said.
Group members, who stayed with medical volunteers, interacted with children from an orphanage run by the nonprofit Friends of the Orphans located in the mountainous area Kenskoff.
Volunteers also participated with children from the program Angels of Light, which is also run by Friends of the Orphans. The program provides food and education to children that currently live in tent city located in Port-au-Prince.
The children were overwhelmed.
“They received us with lots of hugs and smiles,” she said. “These kids were amazing in spite of the misery they live in. They were laughing and never complained.”
Vazquez taught basic techniques of photography to the kids. The final product was great work, he said.
“Every time I see their pictures I see quality that can be shown in a museum,” he said. “There is happiness in the pictures, and I also see my story that I lived.”
The kids also participated in an art project in which they drew with tempera paint and created colorful houses and beautiful flowers.
At the museum, 35 pictures taken by the children along with their art work will be on display.
The images tell a tale, Lozano said.
“This is a way to show people here that what we do here makes a difference,” she said.
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