Footprints is a national traveling exhibit based on a human centered photography project called the Walk of the Immigrants.
My name is Saul Flores, and in 2010 I walked across 10 countries to bring awareness to Latin American issues. The project was called the Walk of the Immigrants, and now I want to start a national traveling exhibit that teaches cultural empathy from the images I captured.
«« FOOTPRINTS ««
On January 18th, 2012, I gave a lecture at my first Walk of the Immigrants exhibit opening that was hosted by NCSU Libraries. The exhibit ran for 6 months and it was estimated that it brought more than 500,000 unique viewers to the exhibit space.
Now, we are trying to raise $6,700 to launch Footprints, a nation traveling exhibit across America. Over the years we’ve had venues contact us from all over the US, New York, Texas, Washington, Florida, California, to host the exhibit and to share the Walk of the Immigrants. The Footprints tour will allow the images to travel across the United States and further share the stories of Latin America.
The $6,700 will act as seed money to make the Footprints traveling exhibit a sustainable model. This includes packaging, storage, management, and duplication of the exhibit so that it can begin traveling.
As it moves from venue to venue, we will be collecting funds that will be used to further purchase educational tools for Atencingo. This is a dream project for me and for my family.
«« THE WALK OF THE IMMIGRANTS ««
In the summer of 2010, I began a walk across 10 Latin America countries to bring awareness to the socio-cultural issues of Central America. I walked, hitchiked, and rode canoes, across Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. It was a walk that lasted a total of 5,328 miles, over the course of three months.
The Walk of the Immigrants was meant to act as an image narrative that teaches empathy, and reminds our cultures of the commonalities that we have as a people. It was my hope to create a new bridge, one not dependent on mainstream media, to connect people with people.
Throughout my journey I captured the cultural values, the struggles, and most prominent issues of these countries through images. It is the story of Latin America, and the people of Latin America, and then creating a window to share that with the other cultures of the world.
It is a project about promoting education, empathy, and humanity, all through photographs. It is a project about us as one people.
«« THE INSPIRATION ««
This project began with the story of my mother, and her decision to emmigrate to the United States so that I could have access to stronger educational resources.
Her decision was the reason I avoided a life in Atencingo and it was my hope, and responsibility, to do the same for the streets kids of the community.
In Atencingo, educational resources, as well as opportunity, are limited. Unconnected from modern education, despite a few donations from family members across the border, limits opportunity. In Atencingo, success can be measured by the last year completed before dropping out of school and beginning your work in the sugar cane fields, or leaving for the United States. My inspiration was the small withering elementary school named General Emiliano Zapata.
The inspiration for the project was to help the street kids of Atencingo by rebuilding the elementary school through the revenue collected from the photographs sold during the Walk of the Immigrants. It was my hope to return what was given to me.
«« RESULTS ««
During my trip I had more than 40,000 followers from over 140 countries throughout the world. I had followers from Brazil, India, Russia, China, Canada, and all of Europe. And when I finally made it home I was broadcasted in more than 135 cities in the United States.
I was also featured on Univision, the Independent, spoke for TED, and was broadcasted on the story with Dick Gordan via National Public Radio. As a student I spent one year giving presentations throughout North Carolina, another year curating the photographs, and finally, I think the images are ready to travel the world.
So far we’ve sold enough photographs to fund the full salary of one of the teachers, Jaime. With help from NCSU Libraries, The Caldwell Fellows, CSLEPS, and the Mexican government, we were finally able to rebuild the entire school of General Emiliano Zapata.
This, already, is a dream come true for me and for the kids. We are now finally able to focus on the educational tools that the students will need throughout their 5 years that they attend the elementary school.
The Walk of the Immigrants" made me realize the commonalities that we have as people. Underneath, we are all individuals that seek happiness, survival, and hope to avoid suffering.
«« MEDIA COVERAGE ««
Click to visit the story!
An American Journey by David Hunt
Coverage by NCSU during the Walk
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #1 The Walk of the Immigrants
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #2 99 Miles From Panama
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #3 Police, Poison and Peace
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #4 Refuge on the Road
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #5 The Kid From Atencingo
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #6 Natural Born Leader
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #7 Exhibit Traces Student's Journey
NCSU FEATURE ARTICLE #8 Think Big
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges of this project are dependent heavily on obtaining the seed money. If the money is raised, we will have nothing stopping us from moving forward and confirming the final venues. Over the years we have been contacted from major institutions and are grateful to finally be ready to share the images. However, it will be a lot of work to manage, ship, and crate the exhibit, but it is a time sacrifice that we are all more than willing to make. Thank you so much for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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