Getting One Side of the Story

December 9, 2008 | By Vanessa Marshall | News, Photography, Photojournalism


The view of the front gardens of our hotel from the boat on Lake Atitlan. The boat dock leads up to the pool and outdoor hot tub, the sauna and the restaurant.

The sun beat steadily down on us this morning as a speed boat whizzed us across this lake that Auldus Huxley once described as the most beautiful in the world. I’m not sure how many lakes Huxley visited but I agree that this one, set in the valley of three dormant volcanoes, is vast and spectacular.

It’s been deeply fortifying to watch the connection forge and strengthen between the kids and key members of their community. Ten year old Johnny, from Santiago Atitlan who dreams of becoming a doctor, interviewed pharmacist Don Enrique this afternoon.


Local pharmacist Don Enrique is introduced to Johnny (who has been inspired to become a doctor). Johnny checks out the certificates and qualifications hanging on the wall above Don Enrique.

A sweet and gentle old soul he was very happy to talk to us and quietly very pleased when we mentioned that Johnny, was inspired to be a doctor by his son, the charismatic Dr Montoya.

There is some concern for the infant and maternal mortality rate in the town. It is on the rise. Doctors believe comedrona’s (midwives) need more education particularly in the metric system to enable them to properly gauge when the uterus is ready for the baby’s passage into this poor, but rich and fertile world.

The majority of women prefer to have their baby at home with a comedrona for the comfort it affords them and to avoid the expense of a  hospital visit. Tomorrow we shall get the perspective of the comedrona’s.


This is our production team recording the interview with Don Enrique in his pharmacy. From L to R: Phil on video, Mynor on sound, Evylyn translating, Henry (in the hood) and David covering photography.

More posts by this author

Comments are closed.