On the coast of Southern Mexico, there are 40 of the friendliest, kindest and most hospital people you will ever meet. Playa Grande may not be large, but it is full of character and long, pristine beaches. A visit to this village is well worth the journey off the beaten path.
I joined a group of indigenous villagers in Mexico to hunt rabbits. We hiked through fields and farms to find the rabbits' reflective red eyes with our flashlights. Crawling through thick underbrush and trees we scoured several fields. No luck. But the journey was an adventure! Filmed on a Sony A7s. I love the great low light ability of this camera.
Pablo lives in Chojolhó, Mexico—a village of 300 in the highlands near the Guatemalen border. Pablo lives a simply life. He's a subsistence farmer. He has two kids. His native language is Txotxil—a Mayan dialect. And Pablo is a Mormon. In fact, the first Mormon in his village. Since his conversion in 1987, there are now over 40 members in this small village with eight priesthood holders. And they have their own beautiful church building.
I went with Pablo one morning to go work with him in the fields. Hiking up a narrow trail, the beauty of the mountain valley lay behind us. Pablo, and his brethren in the priesthood, gather each morning in the mountainous fields to pray before starting the day's work. I followed them as they hacked away with their machetes, clearing the field for the next crop of milpa—the Mayan word for corn.
Milpa has a strong historical significance in Mayan culture. It represents the connection man has with the earth. Man tills the earth the corn grows out of it, man harvests it, and then the remains return to the earth—only to restart the process. I think there is powerful symbolism seeing men like Pablo, who believe in a personal connection with God, working with a crop valued for its divine nature.
I hooked into filming Sandy and Josafat's wedding by way of several serendipitous events. It all started shooting a pro bono video for a local cafe in San Cristóbal, Mexico. And it turned out that the cafe owner's wife is a wedding photographer. Naturally we hit it off and she offered to put me in contact with the bride-to-be. I'm still amazed that this opportunity arose.
Sandy and Josafat's wedding was exquisitely festive. I witnessed a beautiful ceremony where family and friends honored the new couple. And I also witnessed the high voltage of a Mexican wedding reception—I couldn't keep up with them! I had to leave early at 3am. Yes, that was indeed leaving the party earlier.
So, when making the videos I tried to represent the serene respect and incessant energy the wedding had. From funk, to tequilla shots, to cherished moments, to risqué mariachi bands this wedding had it all. Congratulations Sandy and Josafat!