Putting the Pieces Together

December 10, 2008 | By Vanessa Marshall | News, Photography, Photojournalism

It’s day eight out of nine of the Bridges to Understanding workshop. The kids have received lessons in Premier and Photoshop Elements. The credits have been designed. The footage and stills stoically edited by saintly Julee who was up working until 4am. Now all we need is the musical score. Carmen, Maria, Heremias and I selected soundtracks from CDs by local musicians yesterday.


We interviewed this 60-year-old comendrona Ana Sosof Ramires who told us, “being a midwife is the best profession, but some women are afraid to be one or get scared due to screams and blood.”

Our interview with the comedrona is edited in. The situation is socially, culturally, politically and economically delicate and it’s been a challenge for us to guide the children to make an appropriate call during the editing process.

When asked during an interview if the comendrona has a license she revealed, “Yes, because I want to avoid problems with the government … if there is a problem in the birth, if you don’t have a license they will put you in jail.”


Brenda and Johnny, our two narrators, tired but committed, select relevant sound bites to include from an interview with one of the health care practitioners.

Brenda and Johnny are our narrators. We opened the short film with Brenda expressing her desire to be a Mumma one day and wondering who will help her. Then the show includes a series of interviews with doctors and midwives and an exploration of their perspectives.

At 5:30pm this afternoon our film debuted at Saloon Municipal. Watching the kids have a group portrait today was hysterical. They formed a human pyramid which eventually toppled. We have all bonded tightly and grown almost unfathomably through this experience of a lifetime.


We were on a high after the interview with the inspiring Dr Montoya, photographed here with the team outside his clinic in downtown Santiago Atitlan. He was supportive and accommodating in his approach to our project and his relationships with the Comedronas.

More posts by this author

Comments are closed.