What: A family adventure! Teens participate in 5 days of street photography with local Oaxacan teens. Parents explore Oaxaca. Families reconnect and share experiences at the end of each day.
Who: Teens going into 8th – 12th grades who love photography and want to meet local kids, parents who want to explore Oaxaca
How long: August 15-22
Where: Oaxaca City, MEXICO
Counselors: Jay Waltmunson, Kymber Waltmunson, local guides Samuel Bautista and Luvia Lazo (see counselor bios here)
Join us for a truly unique opportunity for your family. Have you ever wanted to have an adventure with your teens but they have a different idea of fun than you do? This camp has the best of both worlds for the whole family.
For teens: This camp is all about the art and technique of street photography paired with the side benefits of Spanish immersion and cultural connection. Up to five US teens and five Oaxacan teens will work together for five days to prepare for an exhibition of their week’s work at Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo. We’ll come out from behind our cameras to eat delicious food, see local attractions, and experience Oaxaca’s creative culture. Day trips will include Monte Alban, Hierve el Agua, and visiting a Zapotec family farm in a nearby town (see the slideshow below).
Street photography at its essence is candid photos taken in public settings. What better place to explore this art than the colorful, fully alive backdrop of historic Oaxaca City? Teens will explore color, movement, composition, texture, and vantage point through the lens of cultural difference and similarity and what excites them about the visuals of this unique urban environment. Teens will also learn how to process photos on-the-go and how to take full advantage of the cameras they use.
For parents: Your days will be as open or planned as you wish. If it sounds fun we can arrange guided tours of the city’s street art, cooking classes, mezcal tours and tastings, meetings with local artists or healers, or you can just explore Oaxaca’s special gifts on your own.
Together: On Friday evening we will view the teens’ best photographs in a local photography center and share a celebratory dinner with the Oaxacan teens and their families.
Trip leaders and local guides:
- Jay Waltmunson – Seattle photographer and Spanish teacher
- Kymber Waltmunson – transformative travel facilitator
- Samuel Bautista – Zapotec storyteller, historian, and trouble-maker
- Luvia Lazo – Oaxaqueña photographer and fashion production manager
What is included in the price?
- Camp tuition for your child + one local Oaxacan teen
- Meals, transportation, activities, supplies, related to the teen day experiences
- Teens’ local guides
- Tips for teens’ local service providers
- $100 donation to El Centro Esperanza Infantil – a “Boys and Girls Club” organization from which local Oaxacan teens receive school fees, supplies, tutoring, and support.
What is not included in the price?
- Airfare and lodging (we can coordinate if you prefer)
- Transportation to/from your home airport and other in-country transportation unrelated to teen day activities
- Family trip insurance
- Camera – If you are looking for recommendations for your teen, see our post here. We will need to get loaner cameras for the local kids if you know of any.
What about technology?
We will work tegether to identify appropriate technology approaches for this trip. Our trips are typically technology device-free experiences with the obvious exception of your teen’s stand-alone camera. Phones and other wired devices are an incredible distraction from the world around us. They can have an especially negative impact when we are trying to immerse ourselves in a new culture. Phones, earbuds, and even books can keep us at arms length from our experience and from one another. We wrote a post on teens, technology, and travel that explains more.
Feedback from teens on previous trips has been that they are glad they didn’t have their phones! They say they feel more connected to each other, their surroundings, and even that the days feel longer with so much more that they are taking in.
What resources do we provide?
We’ll guide getting ready every step of the way. We will help direct processes around up-to-date passports, packing & gear, reading lists, selecting the right trip insurance, and we will coordinate a group meeting or two before we go so we can get to know each other. We are also available by phone and email to answer any questions.
All trip facilitators will have cell phones, should an urgent matter require communication.
We can provide all the information and planning to make this an amazing trip. Transportation, translation when needed, great activities, introductions to locally vetted and established guides, dietary accommodations, and anything else that’s needed. We have a system to help us process our experiences, build relationships, experience our destination more deeply, and craft stories for our return.
Especially with this trip, you will get amazing digital photos from your teen’s adventures during the day – both in what they bring home as well as professional pics from the trip leaders documenting the activities.
Interested? Got Questions? Let’s chat!
If you want to talk or ask about anything, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer questions and give more details. We have suggestions here on great cameras for kids to learn Street Photography here.
If you need references, we’ll gladly give you a bunch and we’ve got testimonials as well. We’d also encourage you to peruse our blog to get a sense of our values and how we travel. There are posts specific to Oaxaca on our Mexico page.
Let’s go far and travel deep!
Street Photography is about photographs that stir us emotionally, that make us think about humanity, society around us, the people we interact on a daily basis, the small beauties of life that we pass up for granted, others who are suffering, and the hopes and dreams of everyday individuals.– Photographer Eric Kim