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12 photos, 12 months: Images of our year

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Translator: Arianna Hernández

I’m going to make a generalization without fear of being wrong: We all like to sit and look at old photos. Images from the past awaken in us the feeling of a sweet nostalgia.

That’s why taking a look through the photos of the year during the last weeks of December with a bean tamale is one of my favorite activities. Not just the photos of my pet and family that I have stored on my cell phone, but also the images that gave a stronger impact to the stories that we shared with you throughout 2021.

Narrowing it down to a small selection is a huge challenge from the get go. It gets even more complicated when there are so many professional and amateur photographers who share their photos of Guanacaste with us. A gesture that, by the way, the editorial staff is infinitely grateful for.

Having eyes paying attention throughout the province during times of restrictions and isolation allowed us to expand our reach and also the diversity of views and sensibilities with which we see the province.

Without losing any more time, I’d like to share with you a dozen photos that paraded through The Voice during 2021.

  1. The shipyard

Facing the Gulf of Nicoya, nestled among mangroves, a community builds El Ceiba, a zero-emissions wooden boat. Photo: Jose Pablo Porras

We kick off the parade of guest photographers of the year with Jose Pablo Porras, who, with his Imágenes Humanas (Human Images) project, depicted the assembly of the El Ceiba sailboat, in Punta Morales, with photos and text. (You can read the full article here).

  1. Back to classrooms

Primary school teacher Graciela Leal cleaned the desks of fifth grade students. Her first class of 2021 had just nine students. Photo: Cesar Arroyo Castro

We went to the first day of classes at the school in Santa Rosa of Tamarindo. Boys and girls started the day with greetings from a distance and hand sanitizer. After almost a year closed, Guanacaste’s schools reopened on February 8.

  1. Returning to the beach

Hogar de Ancianos San Blas PLaya
Already vaccinated and following strong health protocols, senior citizens from the Nicoya’s San Blas Nursing Home spent February 24 in Puerto Carrillo of Hojancha. Photo: San Blas Nursing Home

The San Blas Nursing Home shared photos with us of their first recreational activity outside of the facilities in a long time. A more than necessary getaway to “breathe fresh air again,” as they put it.

  1. Conventillos Police

Officer Rodriguez poses behind the Conventillos police station, in Salinas Bay in La Cruz. Photo: Cesar Arroyo

This police post is located 7 kilometers from downtown La Cruz, down an unpaved road on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The mayor of the canton, Alonso Alan, believes that if an immigration post were set up here, it would also strengthen the economy of the canton’s center. This article tells you about both countries’ plan to promote the border towns as a tourist attraction.

  1. To live with pride

“I would be so nice if the people who come after us don’t have to suffer as much. The only thing we want is to be happy, like the purpose of every person in this world.” -Mich Coronado. Photo: Cesar Arroyo

In commemoration of International LGBTIQ+ Pride Day, we photographed Mich and partner. Both are part of Amor a la Diversidad de Tila (Love of Diversity of Tilaran), a group of sexually diverse people and their relatives who provide support to the diverse population of Guanacaste.

  1. Rincón de la Vieja erupting

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano erupted at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, June 28, in a way that it hadn’t since 1996. Photo: Oscar Alvarado and Robert Araya

The volcanic activity that we saw at the end of June at Rincón de la Vieja gave us amazing images and gave us a good reason to know about the risks being taken by those who illegally climb volcanic cones.

  1. Pandemic moms 

During 2020, 5,029 babies were born in Guanacaste. Although photos of “pandemic babies” and “car showers” flooded social networks, there were 501 fewer births in the province compared to the previous year. Nationwide, the phenomenon was the same: the largest drop in the birth rate in decades. Photo: Cesar Arroyo Castro

The Voice photographed and interviewed five women to find out what it means to be a pandemic mother and what motivates them to keep going in the midst of the crisis.

  1. Julio Borbón

Julio Borbon, director of the Bor Bor Movement and Beyond, began a journey through his history that led him to the instrument where his Chorotega, Spanish and African roots connect. Photo: Cristina Diaz

Photographer Cristina Diaz is a big contributor to The Voice and where she focuses her eye, we pay attention. She shared with us her portraits of this artist from Liberia who doesn’t need more than a quijongo instrument and his body to portray a review of our history.

  1. Murals of Bagaces

“The idea is that these murals are like a book written there, that the young ones can read in them [about] what there was before.” -Carlos Cerdas, muralist. Photo: Ruben F. Roman.
Ruben is our Audience Coordinator and he’s also a genius at photography (take a look at his Instagram account). That’s why we asked him to do a portrait of Carlos Cerdas, the person responsible for filling the walls in the community of Bagaces with paint and history over the last year.

  1. Budget cuts for the forest

“Right now, we don’t have the personnel to protect the area. If there were cuts, it would be even worse for conservation.” -Gelberth Obando, park ranger. Photo: Mari Arango

Photographer Mari Arango documented what a day’s work is like for the park rangers of the Camaronal Wildlife Refuge. Last year, the Legislative Assembly approved reducing the budget of conservation areas by more than a third as part of an aggressive cut in several ministries.

  1. Authentic women surfers 

“We weren’t interested in portraying the place or the people as exotic, and in the end, we decided to work with images that were more poetic.” – Gabriela Tellez, photographer.

Photographer Gabriela Tellez from the Colectivo Nómada (Nomad Collective) portrayed 26 female surfers of different ages, nationalities and life experiences who will be featured in an immersive photobook. She and Serbian producer Ivana Bajic came up with the idea for the Nature of Surf Women project to reflect the relationship between women, surfing and nature in Nosara.

  1. Costa Ricans

Jose Bonifacio Villegas Fonseca (Pachito) is 104 years old. Since the age of six, he was already a horseman and worked with his father as a cowboy taking animals from one place to another. He has known Trinidad since they were children and they have kept up a friendship for more than 90 years. Photo: Pucci

The last photo gallery of this year is dedicated to the series of portraits done by brothers Sergio and Giancarlo Pucci. The Costa Ricans photobook includes images of 50 Costa Ricans of different occupations, ages, genders, and areas of the country, eight of whose stories take place in Guanacaste.

Bonus: The Wimblu group shared this story about restorative agriculture in the Tempate community, told with videos, photos and text that couldn’t be left out.

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