We gave disposable cameras to 15 children in one of Nicaragua's poorest neighborhoods and told them to document their world. Each child is a student at Education Plus Nicaragua, a non-profit that provides education, nutrition and care to children in Pantanal, Nicaragua. Most of the residents in Pantanal live without electricity, running water or enough money for the basics such as food and medicine.
Poverty is a daily reality for children in this community. Malnutrition is rampant resulting in lack of energy and stunted mental and physical growth. Children sniffing glue to ward off hunger pains, begging on the streets of a nearby tourist town or turning to illegal activities such as robbery or prostitution is not uncommon.
Despite these harsh realities, when given cameras to document their world they turned the lens on the people around them. What is most important to them is what is most important to all of us: friends, family, schoolmates or, quite simply, love.
Thanks to the generosity of The Darkroom, who developed the film for free for our project.
The solar-powered lamps in the pictures were donated to the students by Esperanza Market. The Esperanza Market is an online store selling handbags and yoga bags made by hand in Nicaragua. For each bag sold, the company donates a solar-powered light to one of the hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguan children who live without electricity.