Colombia, South America (1971)
I remember this picture very well, as it was shot in Guadalupe (a small village in rural Santander). In those times, Colombia was a very peaceful country, and none of the boys and girls pictured here could imagine what would happen to us in the coming decades. Such as the violence and the depletion of the incredible richness that Mother Nature had blessed us with.
I always thought I was special - and I was.
I loved to swim and read, and I escaped my daily tasks by using my imagination.
One time, I imagined myself as a rich orphan, traveling the world and doing whatever I pleased.
I guess back then I couldn’t imagine how exhausting it would be, trying to feel proud of my gay identity, and always in a constant fight for equal rights.
Even being forced to understand that, my dignity and pride couldn't be taken away from me. I learned that we should leave behind bitterness and embrace new beginnings, and do so with kindness and plenitude.
Time is a human invention, and living in the past is a self-inflicted and cruel punishment.
There is nothing to be ashamed of, or to regret. We will always be those gracious, tender, and loved happy kids - playing in the paradise of our childhood. As anyone can see in these wonderful pictures!