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In God's Hands

By Barbara Goldman


Markel Redondo docuements Central American immigrants to U.S.

© MARKEL REDONDO
Franklyn who has lived most of his life in the U.S. was deported back to Honduras.


On his way to study computer science at the University of Bolton, United Kingdom, Markel Redondo, did a complete turnaround and began studying photography. He continued his studies in Zhaoqing and Dalian, China, studying for his MA International Multimedia in Journalism and while in China  started freelancing for various agencies, newspapers and magazines. In 2007, Redondo returned to Europe and in 2008 returned to his hometown, Bilbao, Spain to continue work on publications and personal projects abroad and in Spain.

 

One of those projects started over a year ago when he contacted Ayuda en Accion, a Spanish NGO that works on humanitarian programs around the world. Ayuda en Accion wanted to raise public awareness to the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, where an estimated 500,000 Central American migrants cross into Mexico every year. Many cross by raft over the river Suchiate that separates Guatemala and Mexico as they try to make their way to the U.S.

 

These migrants suffer all kinds of violations such as kidnapping, rape, robbery and extortion by gangs, mainly the "Zetas" in Mexico. With the help and support of Ayuda en Accion,  Redondo travelled from Honduras to Arizona following the migrant trails and collecting interviews and photographs on the long and dangerous journey.

 

This was the first time Redondo was working on a photo and multimedia story, and it was a challenge to make both parts of the project work. For months he had discussed with Ayuda en Accion the different ways to focus on these stories to bring greater awareness to heartrending situations that are occurring all the time and are under reported.

 

One of thos stories is of Franklyn (pictured above) who has lived most of his life in the United States and was recently deported back to native Honduras. When he tried to get back into the U.S., he was assaulted in Arriaga, Mexico, while waiting for a train going north of Mexico.  Another is of Yamileth, also from Honduras, who left her country to get away from a violent and abusive husband.  After weeks of traveling from Honduras to the U.S., she suffered an accident while trying to catch a train in Lecheria, Mexico, on her way to the Mexico-US border.  As a result, Yamileth lost her right foot.

 

An exhibition is planned in Spain for Redondo’s photography and in some of the countries mentioned in the project.  A multimedia piece is also planned to run on the Ayuda en Accion Web site, www.ayudaenaccion.org and for their print brochures and on Panos Pictures, www.panos.co.uk/, the social documentary agency that represents Redondo’s work. The images and the full feature can be viewed now on Redondo’s site at:  http://www.markelredondo.com/story-gods-hands.html.

 Redondo continues to work on commissions and on personal projects. His clients include, Time, The Times, Le Monde, Le Figaro Magazine, New York Times, Monocle, Greenpeace, Wall Street Journal, Internazionale, The Sunday Telegraph, UNESCO and The British Council. His work has been noticed as a finalist at Photo España 2007 “Descubrimientos,” Eddie Adams Workshop in 2007, Angkor Photography Festival 2007, Black & Veatch’s World of Difference Environmental Photographer of the year award 2009, finalist “City of Gijon” International Photojournalism Award 2009 and 2010, Singapore International Photo Festival 2010, PhotoIreland Festival 2010.

 

 

 

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