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christian_foto

Christian Rodríguez Exploring issues related to gender and identity, human rights, and underrepresented communities.
496 posts
149.6k followers
343 following

Video by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )
you can see this story in @natgeo magazine’s february issue. "bebé, piénsalo bien" (baby, think it over) is an educational program which was created with the intention of bringing s****l and reproductive education to young people by spreading awareness about pregnancy and family planning. for one week during school, students receive valuable s****l and reproductive health education by taking care of robot babies which imitate the behaviors of a five month old infant. they must tend to their basic needs by feeding them, changing their diapers, alleviating their stomach pains, and calming them down when they cry. these babies represent 7 different ethnicities (caucasian, american indian, hispanic, light skinned and dark skinned african american, asian, and japanese). i followed various students as they completed this assignment by taking care of their own robot baby, and saw firsthand the way this experience greatly heightened their awareness and thinking towards having children at a young age.

one thing which caught my attention was just how much the value and importance of this program was emphasized, as the students’ performance in this project had an effect on their grades for the rest of the school year.
one of the homework assignments that the students had to complete, which was part of the family planning portion, was to figure out the costs of all the necessities for their baby, such as diapers and formula. this, to me, seemed to be a very interesting way to convey the various difficulties that come with having a child at a young age.
without a doubt, education is key to breaking the cycles of teen pregnancy. this program has demonstrated great success, reducing the rates of adolescent parenthood by nearly 35% in the areas in which it is used. to get to know more about the teen mom project, follow @christian_foto . #teenmom #latinamerica

February 2018 comment 82 star 2,105

​photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )
mexico is one of the countries in which i feel the most comfortable. mexico city is an incredible place, home to an intense yet balanced mix of love and hate. to move from one point to another can often be a very difficult task depending on where you live, but can you imagine spending four or five hours each day of your life just to get to work? the chilangos (natives of mexico city) spend up to 45 days per year in traffic. ​surely the man in this photo has decided it's not an issue for him to spend a couple more hours resting.
#chilangos #traffic #mexicocity

February 2018 comment 49 star 1,672

Video by @christian_foto ( christian rodríguez ) people in low socio-economic positions are commonly thought of as worse off based on the idea that having more money makes someone's situation objectively better. however, this not necessarily the case. economic inequality is one of the many ways in which people may be thought of or treated as inferior, yet an individual who lives in an economically privileged situation is not necessarily happier than one who doesn't. people frequently believe that the only way to measure someone's well-being is by their economic status. however, there are many ways in which the wealth of a person can be evaluated. the dignity of a single mother facing difficult circumstances should be defined not in pity, but in the admiration of her strength and capacity to overcome these challenges. view of bellavista neighbourhood. #poverty #sexualviolence #colombia video by @christian_foto ( christian rodríguez )

February 2018 comment 35 star 1,153

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodríguez ) “if you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. "
lilla watson

it is easy to fall into the emotions of pity which often emerge when working with human rights issues in underrepresented communities. pity is something that occurs when someone sees the circumstances of another from afar, and mistakenly believes this to mean that they are in a position of superiority over another . by not fully understanding a situation, pity can become a major obstacle impeding appropriate and beneficial action to those who need it.
on the other hand, compassion allows us to understand someone else’s pain by means of the empathy we experience, motivating us to act with the intention to alleviate the pain of others as if it was our own.
johanna mosquera (35 years old) massages her daughter michell (16 years old), who is 6 months pregnant. the father of michell’s baby is twice her age and lives in a different neighborhood with his wife and children. i had the opportunity to meet this family through the ngo niñas sin miedo @ninassinmiedo (girls without fear), which works to prevent s****l violence and unwanted teenage pregnancy in latin america. johanna's family, like many others, has fallen victim to s****l violence, but they find support through their religious community and this ngo. johanna lives with 6 of her 8 daughters. nicoll (13 years old) is at a child protection home and wendy (19 years old) lives with her boyfriend. #sexualviolence #colombia

February 2018 comment 85 star 3,727

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodríguez ) johanna mosquera (35 years old) is a single mother of 8 girls. she lives in the neighborhood bellavista, located at the border between bogota and the municipality of soacha. she was sexually abused by her stepfather for many years and when she was 14 she decided to run away from home. three of her daughters have also been sexually abused. in colombia there are many elements which together create an environment that make silence the most common response to s****l violence against young girls, without addressing the crime or trauma that comes as a consequence. these factors include the lack of the presence of the state in the majority of the country’s territory, the conditions of poverty and marginalization, media culture and the hypersexualization of women’s bodies, the strict gender roles that trap women in positions of subordination, and the taboo and stigma attached to topics related to s*x and sexuality. these elements all contribute to the formation of an environment which takes away power from women and puts young girls at an extremely high risk of experiencing s****l violence. #sexualviolence #colombia

February 2018 comment 48 star 2,537

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodríguez ) i was r***d before the age of nine. i did everything i could to try to forget the traumatic experience and never think about it again. i wanted to bury the memory as far down as it could go in the deepest part of my mind because of all of the overwhelming fear and shame it brought upon me. i continued on with my life the best i could, alone, with all the strength i was able to muster up as a young boy. as i grew up and began to reflect back upon my own experience, i discovered that some friends of mine had gone through the very same thing. i began to realize that what had happened to me was in fact not an isolated incident, but a much larger issue that was affecting many other people.
i was born in a poor neighborhood in montevideo, with all of the typical limitations that often go hand in hand with low socioeconomic conditions. however, with the love and support i received from my grandparents, along with my own determination to improve the reality i grew up in, i was given the strength and encouragement to follow my dreams. i always thought that when you have nothing to lose, you do everything you can to fight for the causes you believe in. my personal projects have always been closely related to and guided by my own life experiences.
because of this, i am here in colombia, working with a new project dealing with the s****l abuse of young girls and boys in latin america. thanks to the support of the ngo niñas sin miedo @ninassinmiedo (girls without fear), we are working here in "comuna 4", bellavista neighborhood in bogotá. young girls and adolescents are the population group at the highest risk of experiencing s****l violence in colombia. on average, 85% of the female victims of s****l violence between 2014 and 2016 in colombia were between 0 and 17 years. in 2016, 12,820 adolescents were victims of s****l assault.
#sexualviolence #colombia

February 2018 comment 106 star 3,318

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )

you can see this story in @natgeo magazine’s february issue. "bebé, piénsalo bien" (baby, think it over) is an educational program which was created with the intention of bringing s****l and reproductive education to young people by spreading awareness about pregnancy and family planning. for one week during school, students receive valuable s****l and reproductive health education by taking care of robot babies which imitate the behaviors of a five month old infant. they must tend to their basic needs by feeding them, changing their diapers, alleviating their stomach pains, and calming them down when they cry. these babies represent 7 different ethnicities (caucasian, american indian, hispanic, light skinned and dark skinned african american, asian, and japanese). i followed various students as they completed this assignment by taking care of their own robot baby, and saw firsthand the way this experience greatly heightened their awareness and thinking towards having children at a young age.
one thing which caught my attention was just how much the value and importance of this program was emphasized, as the students’ performance in this project had an effect on their grades for the rest of the school year.
without a doubt, education is key to breaking the cycles of teen pregnancy. this program has demonstrated great success, reducing the rates of adolescent parenthood by nearly 35% in the areas in which it is used. to get to know more about the teen mom project, follow @christian_foto .

sara gomez ( 13 years old ) calms her baby at 3:00 am in her home in guamal, located in meta municipality, colombia. she lives with her parents ( juan carlos gomez lozano (48) and diana shirley ariza giraldo (38)), along with as her young brother ( juan jose gomez ariza (5) #teenmom #acacias #tame #colombia

February 2018 comment 32 star 2,503

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )
you can see this story in @natgeo magazine’s february issue.
we must first work to provide easier access to contraceptive methods and normalize their usage without the heavy stigma and judgement that is often attached to them. in addition, we must teach young men the responsibilities of a good father, which is a job to be highly respected rather than shamed. educational programs should always focus on both genders and not just women. in impoverished neighborhoods ridden with poverty and lacking in opportunity, motherhood is often viewed as the only viable life project for young girls. it is very challenging to change something so rooted in one’s culture, history, and socioeconomic situation. however, the program "bebé, piensalo bien" (baby, think it over) has proven to be extremely successful in changing this reality facing young people today in colombia.
students at santo domingo school during s****l and reproductive education classes. they learn how tu use a c****m and different methods of fertility regulation. acacias, meta, colombia. #teenmom #fatherhood #colombia #tame

February 2018 comment 26 star 1,631

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )

you can see this story in @natgeo magazine’s february issue.
fatherhood is not a very highly respected role in latin america due to the lack of trust in a man’s abilities to take care of his children. it is believed by both genders that the responsibility of parenting should always fall on the shoulders of the women. our culture perpetuates these gender stereotypes by continuing to promote the unwavering role of the fathers as breadwinners and mothers as the ones who take care of domestic life. working to educate young people is the key to breaking the cycle of teenage pregnancy. i believe that educating young boys and creating environments in which they are able to break the macho stereotypes perpetuating a sexist society is fundamental in achieving this goal.

we must first work to provide easier access to contraceptive methods and normalize their usage without the heavy stigma and judgement that is often attached to them. in addition, we must teach young men the responsibilities of a good father, which is a job to be highly respected rather than shamed. educational programs should always focus on both genders and not just women. in impoverished neighborhoods ridden with poverty and lacking in opportunity, motherhood is often viewed as the only viable life project for young girls. it is very challenging to change something so rooted in one’s culture, history, and socioeconomic situation. however, the program "bebé, piensalo bien" (baby, think is over) has proven to be extremely successful in changing this reality facing young people today in colombia.
as a part of the story i produced for @natgeo magazine, i had the opportunity to follow jeffrin steven bayon (15 years old) as he took care of his own robot baby for 48 hours. he goes to the tame school, in the city of tame, in arauca, colombia. he has been living with his two siblings and sleeps in the same room of his sister geraldine bayona. the family sells fish in the local market every morning. students at his school attend s****l education classes for five days, from 6:30 a.m to 1:00 pm, learning how to use methods of contraception. #fatherhood

February 2018 comment 47 star 2,735

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )

you can see this story in @natgeo magazine’s february issue.
through the teen mom project, regarding our work with the epidemic of adolescent pregnancy in latin america, we wish to share with the world not simply the problems at hand, but also their solutions. "bebé, piénsalo bien" (baby, think it over) is an educational program which was created with the intention of bringing s****l and reproductive education to young people by spreading awareness about pregnancy and family planning. for one week during school, students receive valuable s****l and reproductive health education by taking care of robot babies which imitate the behaviors of a five month old infant. they must tend to their basic needs by feeding them, changing their diapers, alleviating their stomach pains, and calming them down when they cry. these babies represent 7 different ethnicities (caucasian, american indian, hispanic, light skinned and dark skinned african american, asian, and japanese). i followed various students as they completed this assignment by taking care of their own robot baby, and saw firsthand the way this experience greatly heightened their awareness and thinking towards having children at a young age.
one thing which caught my attention was just how much the value and importance of this program was emphasized, as the students’ performance in this project had an effect on their grades for the rest of the school year.
one of the homework assignments that the students had to complete, which was part of the family planning portion, was to figure out the costs of all the necessities for their baby, such as diapers and formula. this, to me, seemed to be a very interesting way to convey the various difficulties that come with having a child at a young age.
without a doubt, education is key to breaking the cycles of teen pregnancy. this program has demonstrated great success, reducing the rates of adolescent parenthood by nearly 35% in the areas in which it is used. to get to know more about the teen mom project, follow @christian_foto .

#meta #teenmom #colombia

January 2018 comment 56 star 2,738

Photo by @christian_foto (christian rodriguez )
this photo is part of the teen mom project in colombia, published in @natgeo magazine’s february issue.
eduardo galeano used to say the following about latin america: “if one views something from above and afar, they will surely not understand it. they don’t understand it for a reason, and ours is that the region in which we live is probably the most diverse in the world. it is the homeland of human diversity. that in itself, to me, is a virtue, but seen from above and outside, it is considered to be a great fault. ”

when i publish images and stories for my teen mom project, there often emerges a number of negative comments. i constantly see people blaming the mothers, saying either that these girls are asking for it or that they are too precocious. others blame the fathers for not taking on the responsibility of stepping into strong paternal roles or for trying to escape these daunting realities rather than face them. it is very easy to judge another’s situation from above and afar. there are many factors that affect the realities that come with adolescent pregnancy, and without a doubt, the great social inequalities and lack of opportunities in this region of the world often turns a child into the only seemingly viable life project. this is also in a culture that does not appreciate or appropriately value the incredibly significant role of fatherhood.
education is the key to breaking the cycles of teenage pregnancy. we need more programs like the one i documented in colombia for national geographic, which has since succeeded in reducing the rates of teen pregnancy by nearly 35%. investing in education is incredibly profitable for latin american countries, as reduced rates of teen pregnancy and economic productivity are directly correlated. with each 10% increase of girls attending school, a country’s gdp rises 3%. ana sofía and maría juliana gonzález (both 12 years old) attend the program "bebé, piénsalo bien" ( baby, think it over) at the "francisco de paula santander" school, located in antonio nariño, a suburb of bogota, colombia. they live with their grandmother in bogota.
#teenmom #colombia

January 2018 comment 91 star 3,665

Photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )
lovers in boca chica beach .boca chica is a public beach 30 km from santo domingo in "andrés bay" and one of the most popular beaches for young people and families. some dominicans tend to adapt "kitipós" (very loud speakers ) to their cars and play music in open places like boca chica beach.
#dominucanrepublic #teenager #youngculture #teenmom #bocachica
photo by @christian_foto ( christian rodriguez )

January 2018 comment 38 star 3,153