I grew up very family oriented and always relied on the wisdom of my elders to guide me and advise me. A great amount of respect was always shown to them. Part of our culture in my native Mexico, is keeping a family together until the time of marriage. It was confusing to me that the young adults I was encountering in their late teens and early twenties were living on their own and not answering to their parents. Mexican culture is very different in the way we view our children as well as in the way we view men and women.
Maybe my strict Catholic upbringing and cultural concepts of the roles of female and male were shaped in Mexico, but once I was introduced to a broader picture of the American way of life, I developed a better understanding of the freedom of choice. I have since become fascinated by other cultures–their belief systems and the women who live within them. American women are so confident and empowered because they have the right to choose whichever path they want to take in life. There are still some cultures whose general belief systems do not allow for such grand plans. Their lives are stifled from the moment they are born, by cultural norms that do not see them as an equal to the males in their society. My current passion project has drawn me toward shining light on the women who thrive in any sort of environment. With my camera documenting each interaction, I am capturing the glimmers of hope, inner strength, and beauty that flash inside the eyes of women who dwell within somewhat restrictive borders.