As with most documentary photographers that I know, I've got a BUNCH of irons in the fire, of which only one or two at a time have are given the energy they deserve to develop some level of progress and possibly completion. In time this area will showcase some of these activities.

My work on a project in the northern Peten of Guatemala is one such iron. Simon Comerford is a dedicated ethnobotanist with an incredibly beautiful flair for the written word. He has been living and working in this traditional Maya Itzaj community for the past few years.

We are collaborating on a long term visual/written project exploring many facets of life in this Itzaj community. Some essays will focus on unique personalities from the village. Some articles will explore the traditional use of medicinal herbs and plants in their daily lives. Some pieces will document the social, ceremonial and holiday experiences of the village.





The work is still in its early stages. We are currently working on a piece exploring their unique celebration of Dia De Las Calaberas or their Day of the Skull activities. Some progress has also been made exploring Don Philipe's life as an 80+ year old Hennican hammock maker.

Our goals are as varied as the work we are exploring. We have found, in the Maya Itzaj, value for a way of life not embraced by many in the modern western world. We feel helping others to understand and appreciate, amongst other aspects, the Itzaj's understanding and use of Healers and medicinal plants and herbs, could only enhance how they might view their own lives and that which surrounds them.

Ultimately, we could like to weave together the series of published and unpublished articles and essays into a book exploring life in this and the surrounding communities. Time, energy, financial realities and luck all contribute to what you may see here and elsewhere on this project.



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