Skin of the Zapatistas

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Photo: Saul Flores, Chiapas, Mexico

Skin of the Natives is a 12 assignment project documenting the indigenous communities of Mexico by photojournalist Saul Flores. Read the prologue.

Chp 1 // Rise

A crimson colored gate separates the ski-masked guards from an outside Mexico. The scraping sound of their aging hands gripping the cold steel threw an eerie shiver down my spine. The people, tall like stalks of corn and as black as the midnight shadows, stand firm as the protectors of the town. Behind the masked guards hides an entire village unified by the Declaration of the Jungle.

Bouquets of white flowers welcome the rebel from all over as they walk into their sanctioned communities. Even their flowers are protected here, laced onto the earth-red metal like a ribbon around a bouquet. My fear quickly heightens as I see my breath illuminated by the early morning moon. …

Skin of the Natives | Prologue

Skin of the Natives is a 12 assignment excursion documenting the indigenous communities of Mexico by photojournalist Saul Flores.

I remember listening to the shaking voice of my great grandmother as she struggled to narrate the story of Juan Diego to me for the first time. As legend goes, the story of Juan Diego starts in the Hills of Tepeyac, right in the middle of Mexico City. It’s the story of an indigenous peasant whose miracles and apparitions guided millions of Mexican indians to unite under the Catholic faith–a revolution of sorts.

The story of Juan Diego includes a chapel, a shawl, and the miraculous unification of the Mexican people. This is more than a story, it’s an event that became a critical pillar of Mexican culture. Today, Mexico is haunted by horror stories like Ayotzinapa — the case of the 43 missing students from Guerrero who were allegedly kidnapped by the Mexican government. …

A 10 country walk across Latin America

In the summer of 2010, I began a walk across 10 Latin American countries to bring awareness to the socio-cultural issues of immigrants traveling North to the United States. I walked, hitchhiked, and rode canoes, across Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. It was a walk that lasted a total of 5,328 miles, over the course of three months.

The Walk of the Immigrants was meant to act as an image narrative to teach empathy and remind our cultures of the commonalities that we have as a people.

Saul Flores

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