This man is affectionately referred to as the 'Mayor of Ferellones'; a small village adjacent to Barra de Potosi where my family lives. Two years ago I took this photo of him riding his donkey, they were inseparable. As part of my Rostros de mi segundo hogar (Faces from My Second Home) project I printed this image to hang at the local taqueria this month.
As we sorted through over a hundred prints taken over the last decade last night in preparation for the display, we reminisced about many of the people in them. Some have grown up, some have moved away, and some have passed on. When my mom got to this image she stopped. She told me that this past year the 'Mayor' and his donkey had ventured to a lagoon deep in the bush behind Ferellones. After tying his donkey to a tree he went about his business (I'm not sure why he was there), but in doing so he disturbed a group of killer bees who attacked both of them. Unable to escape the donkey was killed, the man narrowly avoided death by submersing himself in the water - he still spent many days in the hospital.
The 'Mayor' is still grieving the loss of his constant companion and, despite his own near death experience, he feels responsible for the demise of his donkey - "if only I hadn't tied him up."
Being able to give this man, who has no photos, an image of them together will be an honour - it is just one example of why this project is so important to me.