One of the most gratifying moments that photojournalism offers is to meet people who will make an impression on us, regardless of their social or intellectual status, through an example of courage and boldness.
People like Cecilia Villegas, a 77-year old woman who lives on the island of Cano Viejo, some 45 minutes by boat from the Costa Rican city of Puntarenas on the Pacific coast. Cecilia, known to all as “Grandma Chila”, goes out every morning with her weak knees and slanted walk looking for mollusks in the mangrove swamp where she lives.
She then ventures out to sea in her small boat and goes fishing. If she is successful she goes to the market in the port of Puntarenas to sell her catch. Then she wanders the streets for 12 hours or until the tide rises when she can go back home to her Cano Viejo ranch and her animals.
“I make a living out of this. The government doesn’t help me and I never married, so I have to see how to survive.”
PHOTO BLOG: The old woman and the sea
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An instructor from the Tianjiao Special Guard/Security Consultant Ltd. Co, smashes a bottle over a female recruit’s head during a training session for China’s first female bodyguards in Beijing January 13, 2012. According to the company, the training session consists of 20 women, mostly college graduates, who will undergo 8-10 months of training to develop sufficient skills to become security guards. The company will then offer the best trainee a chance to attend the International Security Academy in Israel.
Photo: REUTERS/David Gray
This video by Reuters photographer Finbarr O’Reilly was featured on Reuters Photographers Blog about the same time last year, documenting the U.S. First Battalion Eighth Marines in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, including squad leader Sgt. Thomas James Brennan.
In today’s New York Times Lens Blog, Sgt. Thomas James Brennan discusses how he was at first skeptical about Finbarr being embedded in his squad, but his attitude evolved over time.
Through his photos and articles, Finbarr O’Reilly told my story and the stories of my Marines. By doing so, he helped me find my door. For this, I will forever be grateful.