I think I have already done a post about ahecha, but to recap, ahecha is a photography project through an organization called COCUMU (Compartiendo Cultura Mundial-- sharing culture throughout the world) which is completely funded and organized by a group of Peace Corps volunteers in Paraguay. They have camera kits of 5 digital cameras that they loan to volunteers for a two month period, in which the volunteer does a photography workshop, usually with 5 (1 student to a camera) or 10 students (2 to a camera).
I started out with 10 eighth grade students and ended up with 4 girls that completed the course and were truly interested in the project. So it worked out perfectly in my opinion :) To give you an idea, these girls do not have cameras in their home and the first class was how to turn on the camera, how to zoom and how to take a picture. They were TRULY starting from scratch and it was really awesome to see their progress.
I started the first couple classes by giving them a couple activities to get them to start thinking outside of the box, which is unfortunately something that they don't often get a chance to do in the Paraguayan education system. We analyzed photos and discussed what aspects we liked about each photo and what aspects we thought could have been improved. I sent them home with a photo and they had to make up a story to go along with the picture. When I finally gave them the cameras on the third class, we went over the parts of the camera and each week I would give them one aspect of photography to focus on, such as lighting, perspective, etc. The first photos I got back were not creative at all and were mostly them and their friends arm in arm smiling for the camera, but as we discussed their photos week by week and I showed them some famous photos the progression was rapid and after two months they had some awesome photos for the photo exhibit that we held on the "day of paraguayan myths" in the school. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Here are some photos of the girls in action!!
Here is the preparation and finale:
Giving out Certificates for completion of the course with the principal of the school: