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Monte Alban, a UNESCO World Heritage site , contains the partially excavated and reconstructed ruins of the religious-administrative cente...


Friday, October 25, 2013

Kudos for Viva Oaxaca

Mother and Child, Oaxaca, 2011     Credit: REA

It's very gratifying when we hear that our insider's guide to Oaxaca, Viva Oaxaca, really added to someone's visit to our favorite city. Here's the most recent such comment:

I wanted to write and thank you for publishing Viva Oaxaca. My partner and I 
stayed 10 days in Oaxaca in the beginning of October, and used your book 
constantly. It was such a pleasure to read, and the recommendations for 
everything (meals, parks, shopping, markets) were accurate and clear. I think we 
had a better vacation than we would have had if we relied on Lonely Planet and 
Trip Advisor. Your love and enthusiasm for Oaxaca is contagious, and 

The things we enjoyed the most were the guided tour of the Botanical Garden, the 
Tamayo Museum, and eating lunch at Itanoni.  We might have missed out on the 
Botanical Garden and Itanoni if we didn't have your book compelling us to go 
there. We were last in Oaxaca in 1992 for the radish festival/Christmas holiday, 
and being there again felt both familiar and different. It was nice to be in 
Oaxaca during the off season (although we were the only guests at our hotel some 
nights). It is still charming and fun and cosmopolitan all at the same time.

I don't normally write fan letters, but it made me wish for a book like yours every 
time we travel.

Thanks again,

J.B and D.G., New York City

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"I have a name"

I have a name is a project that sets out to illustrate, through photos and biographies, that the often nameless, faceless migrants trying to enter the U.S. from Latin America are real people...individuals with names, faces, and histories.

For the past eighteen months, Tom Feher, a talented photographer, and I have been working on this project in Mexico. Tom has been taking photos of Latin American migrants passing through a shelter in Oaxaca, Mexico on their way to the U.S., and I’ve been interviewing them. Our goal is to produce a movable exposition of 30 or more life-sized photos and written vignettes that will convey what we’ve been learning firsthand--that it’s one thing to have a concept such as “migrant,” “migrant worker,” “undocumented worker,” or “illegal alien,” and quite another to know people as individuals with their own names, faces, life stories and dreams.

The inspiration for this project came to Tom when a neighbor of his in Seattle kept referring to a worker as “Jose” or “the Mexican.” When Tom spoke with “Jose,” he found out that he was neither Mexican nor named Jose. That was the catalyst for I have a name. Tom and I want to do what we can to let people meet the usually nameless and faceless migrants who pick our food, staff our restaurants, and build and maintain our homes. We think this approach has the potential to change hearts and minds. We’ve now interviewed and photographed 18 men and women, about half the number we want for the exposition. We’ve lined up our first venue, Trinity Church in Boston, for December, 2014.

Putting together an exhibit like this will require considerable financial support. Tom has calculated the material and transportation costs of the project at about $25,000. We hope to raise this amount through the funding site indiegogo.com. Any contribution you can make, from $1.00 up, will help. You can see more about I have a name by clicking here  or on any of the linkes above, or by navigating to indiegogo.com and searching for "I have a name." And, if you feel as we do that this is a worthwhile project, please send this note on to some of your friends or associates.

Thanks very much for your time and attention, and, hopefully, your support.

Robert Adler