A very cool program that’s a part of Peace Corps Paraguay is called Ahecha Paraguay, which means “I see Paraguay” in Guaraní. It’s a way to bring creativity through photography to your town by checking out a camera kit from the office. The kit includes five cameras as well as some resources on teaching photography in your site.
If you’re looking for one more benefit of being a married couple in Peace Corps, it’s that we were able to check out two camera kits, bringing our camera count to 10.
We decided to teach the course through Cooperativa Ycua Bolaños because they have been so attentive and easy to work with through many of our other classes. So they took care of the advertising and registration and we showed up to about 14 students (some had their own camera) who were excited to learn the principles of photography.
Throughout the class we studied different techniques of photography and gave the students time to go into the community and practice them. One such theme was the use of light and shadows.
These are all photos taken during the course by our students. Some got some great shots of the way light works with reflections in water.
It’s been a very rainy week, so there were plenty of chances to practice snapping away at puddles and raindrops, as captured here when we focused on shooting something from up close, even using the camera’s macro mode.
We talked about action shots and leaving space for the subject to do its moving.
And we analyzed different perspectives from which we can take photos and what elements add to the photo and which distract from it.
It was a great, energetic group of students who impressed us with their desire to learn and put the topics into practice (instead of just snapping a bunch of selfies). It’s also always fun to see photos of our beloved town and how it can really come to life through the art of photography.
During our next trip to Asunción we’re going to print out a photo from each student in a nice big size and then display them in a sort of gallery in the cooperative for the community to enjoy before giving the photo (and a certificate!) to each student to celebrate their success in “seeing Paraguay” through the Ahecha Paraguay program.