the year that just passed, 2006, was one of my most rewarding times photographically, yet one of my most challenging personally, spiritually, and financially. In February, I was fired from my staff job as a photo assignment editor at one of the largest papers in the country, the NY Daily News. Without warning, I was called into the office on my way to cover the beginning of Fashion Week, no less. It took weeks to get over the shock of that and how it was done. As I began to realize and accept that this is how it's done to even the most experienced journalists in the business, the bitterness I felt toward management began to wane. I was quickly asked to go to Paraguay for a longtime medical client in March. It was while doing the followup photo work for them that I was introduced to a children's shelter there in the capital, Asuncion, founded by one of the most amzing medical professionals I've ever met. I ended up staying in South America another week to work on the personal project; Asociacion Cultural Justicia Y Verdad. (Association of Cultural Justice & Truth.) I will never forget the street children there squeegeeing car windows and even their parents approaching buses and trucks to clean their windshields. I was in tears as I photographed them singing dinner prayers, which consisted of only powdered milk & day old bread. As you can probably tell, this personal project really broke me up at times...
Young Paraguayan girl holds a baby in the Asociacion Cultural Justicia y Verdad (Association of Cultural Justice and Truth) in Asuncion, Paraguay on Friday evening, March 17, 2006. The shelter founded by Dr. Chantal Hulin, is run out of a renovated auto garage, where volunteers provide showers, administer health care, simple meals, and classroom activities to some of the hundreds of homeless street children that panhandle and clean windshields for money on the neighborhood streets. © Chet Gordon / THE IMAGE WORKS
Toddler known to be infected with congenital syphilis, peers into the entrance of the Asociacion Cultural Justicia y Verdad (Association of Cultural Justice and Truth) on Friday, March 10, 2006 in Asuncion, Paraguay. © Chet Gordon/THE IMAGE WORKS
Young Paraguayan girl cleans a windshield in Asuncion, Paraguay on Thursday evening, March 16, 2006. Hundreds of street children, some as young as 4 years old and their parents, work the diesel fumed streets of the capital city by squeegeeing windshields, panhandling and selling various items to drivers. © Chet Gordon / THE IMAGE WORKS
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