Fotokids Still Going Strong

Fotokids is now in its 28th year, and our focus is acting as a catalyst to stimulate leadership roles for young people in areas affected by poverty and gang violence in Guatemala and children of farm workers in California’s central valley.

Fotokids Still Going Strong

Dolores, Elizabeth and Chonita working on design. Santiago Atitlán.

Fotokids transforms and empowers through its media training in photography, graphic design, video, writing, and web design, opening up new opportunities through educational scholarships, skill building, creative and critical thinking.

Our vision is that youth from areas where there are little to no opportunities develop an excitement for learning and vocational skills that will enable them to get a job.

The program currently serves over 175 children in Guatemala City, Santiago Atitlán and children of farm workers in California’s Central Valley and includes traditional scholarships for children who cannot otherwise afford an education from first grade through university; year-round classes in the media arts and international mentoring programs; and real-life professional experience in photography, graphic design and video. Our Girls Life Skills is a 3-year media technology and gender empowerment program designed to teach skills to teenage girls who are otherwise trapped in gang-dominated violent barrios or by rural poverty.

Fotokids professional graphic design company Jakaramba run by Fotokids graduates provides premier-quality services to dozens of non-profit and commercial studios for book design, photography, website development and video production, at the same time training our younger student interns.

All classes are taught by Fotokids graduates from the very same barrios as the students. We provide assistance in tutoring, a social worker who visits the families and schools monthly, nutritious lunches before class and medical aid for the children involved. Students have had the opportunity to attend inaugurations of their photography in over 45 galleries and museums worldwide, including Paris, London, New York, Adelaide, and Amsterdam.

Fotokids works because we believe in long-term commitment. We stay with the same children from grade school through their university. Graduates have degrees in education, design, law, social work, journalism, business administration, computer engineering, etc. They have gotten jobs in design agencies, as photojournalists, in television, international non-profits, government agencies and private businesses.

REVUE magazine article by Nancy McGirr

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