Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kudos from Children International

I recently did a photo assignment for the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Children International in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. Here are their comments on my work. Its not often one makes a lot of money in this profession, so it is nice to get few appreciative strokes once in a while.

"Doug is a gifted and accomplished photographer! Excellent eye for drama, humanity, and the world in which we live. And it’s evident from his images that he has an aptitude for communicating emotionally with children of all cultures.

He made things easy for us, by understanding the project, taking charge once he hits the ground, and getting it all done on time with incredible results.

Children International will be using his Ecuador images for years to come, because they capture perfectly the real lives of the people we help. No qualms about recommending him to anyone or any organization".

Scott Cotter

Communications Director

Children International

Global NGO

Children in the slums of Quito, Ecuador. Copyright Doug Pyper

Scroll down to previous post for more on the project and a link to image gallery.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Poverty in Quito, Ecuador

Copyright Doug Pyper

The amount of poverty that exists across South America is almost unimaginable to someone from an affluent society.

Driven by powerful cultural beliefs and the emotional rewards of family life, along with largely Roman Catholic values, most couples have many children very early in life. In most cases, any sort of economic stability is only a minor consideration. They will choose love and family over monetary wealth always and will labour relentlessly any way they can to sustain it . An idea that we in North American society might give some thought to, where more often than not, these values succumb to rampart consumerism and the pursuit of physical comforts.

Unfortunately, the economic reality in South America is that many children go hungry....and needless to say, necessary health care is rarely accessible in this struggle to survive.

Copyright Doug Pyper

The people of Ecuador are a pure joy! They are happy, content, friendly, respectful, accepting of each other and deeply dedicated to is their nature. Truly, this is what fuels my love for this country. It saddens me that children go hungry here as they do elsewhere in the world.

I very recently completed an assignment for Children International. We visited three families in the one of the poorest areas of the city of Quito, Ecuador.

Here is a selection of images from that shoot. Viewable as slideshow:

Please feel free to leave your comments on child poverty in South America and worldwide.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Threats to Indigenous People of Colombia.

My friend Anna Rose recently wrote this letter to the president of Colombia. It was delivered by postal mail. She states well the horrific situation transpiring there and the concerns we all should have about this and similar situations around the world.

10 December 2010

Señor Presidente Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No. 7-26
Bogotá, Colombia

Dear President Santos,

I am a health professional living in Canada. I am enjoying learning Spanish, but I am not up to writing much in it, yet. I am writing because of my concern with the multiple threats to the indigenous nations within Colombia. I first became aware of some specific instances of violence against indigenous villages when I read a book last year by a Latin American journalist. In presenting cases for letter-writing in their annual Write for Rights Day this year, Amnesty International has given more examples and confirmed that the protection given by the Colombian Government to the peoples and their lands is inadequate. Colombia is signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which clearly outlines the protection of and assistance to indigenous people which each State must work towards.

- commence an impartial and exhaustive investigation into the death threats issued to the leaders of the Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca by las Aguilas Negras
- bring the perpetrators to justice promptly
- implement fully Constitutional Court Ruling 004 of January 2009 which lays out
effective protection measures

As affirmed in the UN Declaration, “all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind.” I am told there are at least 32 indigenous nations in danger of extinction in Colombia. It would be everybody’s loss if even one nation vanished due to paramilitary violence, forced eviction from their lands by developers, and lack of protection against these threats by your government.


Anna Rose
Box 115, Gray Creek, BC
Canada V0B 1S0

c.c. Hon. Lawrence Cannon, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Finally Some Photos!

Finally some photos of Bolivia!!

I’m chilling out in Banos, Ecuador right now. It’s my favourite little town in all of South America, tucked away in the lush green eastern Andes Mountains. The pace of my recent travels through Bolivia (for five weeks) was near frantic, followed by a four day race across Peru that was exhausting. Spare time was virtually non-existent.

I’ve been in Banos for a week now and have finally found time to edit and upload to my website some images from Bolivia. You’ll find a collection of twelve separate galleries from different locations in the country.

I had written a blog post about my travels in Bolivia, but lost it in a copy/paste operation. Bummer! I decided it was too much work to re-write it.

The images themselves will tell the story to a great degree. They are all fully captioned and the “descriptive text” introducing each gallery is probably more informative than the blog post I lost. It offers some detailed background on each of the image galleries and my personal point of view on experiences, locations and issues.

The very best way to view image galleries is SLIDESHOW MODE. Better yet: pause the slideshow and use arrows to navigate at leisure back and forth through each gallery.

Here’s the link. Enjoy! Viewable as Slideshow:

Hope to start doing stories regularly now that things have slowed down little. Keep checking back if you like.

Looking forward to Christmas in Banos!