Carnaval de Guaranda in Terra Incognita

I first set foot in Ecuador in 2004. It seems like a lifetime ago. In such a culturally and geographically diverse country it’s hard to know where to start. There’s so much! As young photojournalists, straight out of school, Karla and I turned to Terra Incognita magazine, to learn more about Ecuador. I call it the Ecuadorian National Geographic.  We became involved in the magazine and eventually became the photo editors.
We no longer edit photos for Terra, but have the pleasure of working with Andres Vallejo and Esteban Garces on projects.

Terra Incognita just published my work on Guaranda:
If you are in Ecuador pick up a copy!

Esteban and I thought this would be an excellent opener…..It feels like you’re just about to explore a new place or somebody is about to tell you a secret…Hmmmmm.  I wonder what’s inside…

I love the details in Segundo’s bedroom.  Even though I had more traditional portraits of Mr. Yambombo, this one pulled me in. I like how he’s floating in his personal space.  It also feels spiritual, maybe because it looks like he’s crossing himself, which ties into the religious aspects of Carnival and to the Virgins in back of him.

Often in Ecuador you’ll find juxtapositions that make photography a blast.  I love these innocent young mini mouses in front of people who look a bit worn down from life in the campo.

I really got into to taking portraits of people in their houses before they left their communities.  While interning at the Oregonian, Mike Davis really pushed me to pay attention to all the little details in the background that tell the story of the person you are photographing.  I was especially attracted to the excitement and pride of these individuals as they dressed up in their outfits.

More portraits or to read the article in English

Got Cuy? Food is an integral part of all the fiestas.

Both Andres and I chose this photo for its timeless quality.  It could have been taken yesterday or 40 years ago.

We closed the article with lent, the official end to Carnival, and this elderly lady’s face.  The party is over…

Wow! What space!  All photographers know how difficult it is to get this kind of room to tell stories.

Thanks to Terra Incongnita, truly independent, a wonderful place to learn about Ecuador.

See more photos from the is story on Panos

Check out more work at Runa and ivankphoto