The Children of Inti Photography Project
In addition to combating agricultural issues in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development also teaches art classes in the village of Pampacorral, Peru. Resting above 13,000 feet above sea level, this mountainside village consists of around 100 students, most of whom have never been exposed to any modern technology. Started in the summer of 2011 by Eric Ebner, Brian Lucke, and Ryan Widemon, the project now teaches over 40 children ranging in ages from 10-18. Funds were raised to purchase digital cameras for the students, who were then taught the medium of digital photography. The three goals of the project are to improve visual literacy, give the children an outlet for creativity, and to have fun. At the end of the summer, each child received a booklet with the best pictures from his/her group and the class itself. The school of Pampacorral was given over 20 large prints that now hang in the library. The digital cameras were left with the school for the students to use.
The curriculum was then continued by Eric Ebner and Benedicte Gyllensten from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Eric and Ben taught in Pampacorral with more cameras, more equipment and more assignments for the students.
After the classes were complete, all the students were flown hundreds on miles away to the capital of their region, Cuzco to exhibit their photos in the town square. None of the students had ever been in a plane before, and none had ever been to Cuzco. Once arrived, the students got take part in the creation of a foto-mural and to share their hard work with tourist and Cuzqueños alike. They even brought their typical outfits down to the city, but were too shy to put them on. They got to enjoy some new meals, tour some of the ancient sites and to see the awe and wonder in the eyes of all the people that got to view their beautiful work. It was a wonderful experience that no one, the students, the teachers, or the volunteers will ever forget.