Woman Praying in Teotitlán del Valle, Mexico

 
Photo copyright by Bryn Bonino

Photo copyright by Bryn Bonino

After having walked for a few hours in the early morning hours with the procession through Teotitlán del Valle, we ended up in the center of the town just as the market was opening for the day. I chatted with José, my guide who had become my fast friend, and sipped atole, a delicious drink made from corn. I spotted a visually beautiful scene of a woman in a a striking indigo shawl intensely praying to the statue that had led the procession. José emphasized to me the town’s strong indigenous culture and pointed out that the woman was not praying in Spanish, but in Zapotec.

I decided to capture the scene, so that I could hopefully make an image that would entice others to learn about the diversity of Mexico and the beauty of this culture. By the time I positioned myself in front of her, fellow photographer Hillary Johnson was already there. I captured the scene anyway, knowing that no two photographers will make the same image, since our own cultural framework colors our vision.

Since making this photo, I often think of the week I spent in Oaxaca, the apparent simple life of the people I met, and the rich culture that I they shared with me. The world is such a beautiful and complex place. Getting to know more if it is one of the most lovely things about traveling.