Young Photographers Mentorship Program to Ecuador
The NGO Photographers Alliance facilitates the Young Photographers Mentorship Program in conjunction with our partner organisation Sustainable Roots, a community-driven NGO that aims to initiate and support projects which empower communities to preserve their cultural and natural resources. The NGO is based in the village of Cosanga located on the footsteps of the Andean mountains, situated about 2 hours drive from the capital city of Quito. Sustainable Roots devotes much of its work to youth-related issues and focuses its resources on four main areas - Adventure (bird-watching, camping, rock climbing, and life-time experiences); Education (English-teaching, Dando Alumnos Recursos, and a summer program); the Environment (biodiversity photography, reforestation, and organic gardening); and Community Development (communal "Minga", and community pot lucks.) Under the mantra of "Reduce, Recycle and Reuse", Sustainable Roots operates a long term study program to understand the best methods of reforestation as an initiative to offset carbon emissions as well as understanding and ultimately preventing the decline and eventual death of newly planted trees.
Photography by Duchis Silva on behalf of the NGO Photographers Alliance
WHAT DOES THE YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHERS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM ENTAIL?
This Mentorship program is an intensive 8 day program combining photography workshops, private 1 on 1 mentor feedback sessions as well as participation in NGO-related activities in conjunction with Sustainable Roots. Each program only caters to a small number of participants, thus enabling participants to engage more closely with the mentor as well as members of the NGO and the local community. The highlights of this program include the Night Time Photography Excursion, in which participants will visit the surrounding Ecuadorean jungle during evening hours to capture night time photography of the endemic flora and fauna; as well as experiencing a communal "Mingas", in which the whole community comes together to engage in communal work throughout the day before celebrating together with a shared community-wide meal, a fantastic opportunity for participants to engage and interact with the local community. At the conclusion of the program, participants have the opportunity to continue travelling in Quito or other regions of Ecuador and Central America.
FUNDING FROM EACH MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
How we support our interconnected programs
What does the cost include?
The cost for the Young Photographers Mentorship program includes accommodation for the length of the program as well as a complete itinerary comprising of a combination of photography workshops, private 1 on 1 feedback sessions with your mentor, activities carried out in conjunction with the NGO as well as the support and guidance of an experienced photography mentor who will be on hand for the full length of the program. Whilst at the NGO site, a cook will also be provided for the full stay of the program enabling participants to enjoy 3 meals per day, drinking water and a small number of snacks.
The cost of the Young Photographers Mentorship program do not include costs for airfare, visas (if required), transport between the airport and hotel, travel and health insurance, personal expenses and spending money, police certificate, tips for the mentor or guides, and/or any other non-itinerary related item.
At the completion of the Mentorship program, participants should have sufficient material to begin putting together a portfolio of NGO-related photography. In addition, participants may be invited to feature their work in the pages of our affiliated humanitarian publication The Travellist magazine.
When travelling in a South American country, it is important to keep an open mind and allow yourself to enjoy the experience and not become frustrated simply because things may be done in a way that is different to what you are used to. Amenities that you may be used to back home may not necessarily be available. Respect the local way of life. Go with an open and understanding attitude. And above all, be patient.
Please note that this may be subject to changes as required by the needs and criteria of the partner NGO and thus should only be used as a guide. In addition, please note a police certificate is recommended when working with NGOs; a police certificate can be obtained from your local police agency and is worthwhile in obtaining should you plan on working in the NGO field.
Participants will arrive in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, and individually make their own way to the hotel. The Mentor will be on hand at the hotel to greet you. A group dinner will be held in the evening for the participants to introduce themselves and get to know one another. A briefing will be given by the Mentor
Situated at 2,800 metres above sea level, Quito is the second largest city in Ecuador and is regarded as being the highest capital city in the world. It is home to one of the largest and best preserved historic centers in all of the Americas and retains a history that dates back thousands of years ago when the Quitu tribe first settled in the area. Modern day Ecuador is situated on the foundations of this ancient Inca tribe and today is one of the most important economic and commercial centers of Ecuador. Mariscal Sucre is the international airport that serves Quito and is the main airport that most participants will arrive at; it is one of South America's busiest airports and one of its newest, having been completed in 2013 to replace the former airport bearing the same name.
Participants will travel with the Mentor in a private transportation to the NGO site in Cosanga where Sustainable Roots operates and carry out their community initiatives.
Meet and greet with the staff of Sustainable Roots and the children who they work with. Participants will be settled into accommodation provided by Sustainable Roots. This will be followed by individual 1-on-1 feedback session with the Mentor discussing each participant's current body of work as well as participant's goals and expectations for the program.
PEEK outing in conjunction with Sustainable Roots - Night Time Photography Excursion. Participants will join the Mentor, members of the staff as well as children from the NGO to embark on a visit to the surrounding Ecuadorian jungle to take photography of the night time endemic flora and fauna.
Photography by Cédric von Niederhäusern on behalf of the NGO Photographers Alliance
Photography workshop for the participants with the Mentor.
Second PEEK outing in conjunction with Sustainable Roots. Activity to be finalised closer to the program date.
Editing time. Participants can use this time to begin photo editing and selecting their images.
Photography workshop for the participants with the Mentor. Ethics and responsibility is an important aspect of our program and issues concerning code of conduct, subject sensitivity and psychological impact are topics that every photographer should be aware of.
Activity in conjunction with Sustainable Roots. Participation in English classes with the local children as well as gardening project. Many NGOs embark on small scale projects to initiate the development of skills and knowledge that are transferable to the local populace. For photographers, it is necessary to be able to interact with such communities and be sensitized to their needs whilst overcoming cultural barriers or local reticence; promoting self-capacity within a local community is an important initiative that the NGO Photographers Alliance fully supports and thus the need for such programs.
Editing time. Participants can use this time for photo editing and preparation for the second individual feedback session with the Mentor.
Photography workshop for the participants with the Mentor.
Activity in conjunction with Sustainable Roots. Phase 2 of Reforestation Project. Sustainable Roots will provide hands on experience for participants to witness and understand environmental and sustainability projects put in action and understand the challenges that local NGOs face in ensuring the longevity and usefulness of such programs.
Second individual 1-on-1 feedback session with the Mentor. This feedback session will be used to discuss photography editing and colour grading. Your program Mentor will look over your current workflow and discuss the images you have taken thus far.
In various Andean countries, commonly on the weekends a community wide event called "minga" is held in which the entire community comes together and take part in communal work, which is then followed by a shared meal. The purpose of such events allows common community-wide goals to be accomplished (such as building a structure or clearing a field) whilst allowing community members to socialise with one another. Minga events usually also incorporate refreshments and entertainment and is thus a fantastic way for participants to become immersed in an important aspect of the local life.
Editing time. Participants can use this time to edit their current body of work taken over the course of the week in preparation for the final individual feedback session.
Morning / Afternoon
Daytime photography excursion to the surrounding Amazon jungle. This is an opportunity for participants to see the jungle during the day and learn about nature photography as well as landscape photography. Bird-watching is a major aspect of this excursion as the jungle is home to many different types of birds including the toucan, scarlet macaw and the (rarer) Harpy eagle. On the ground, the Amazon forest is home to an array of amazing animal species, including the manatee, the Amazonian tapir, river dolphins, ocelots, spectacled bear, anteaters and sloths.
Final evening celebrations with Sustainable Roots. Debriefing and feedback to be provided by Sustainable Roots.
Final individual one-on-one feedback session with the Mentor covering the work carried out over the course of the program.
Farewell session with Sustainable Roots. Participants will travel with the Mentor back to Quito in a private bus.
Accommodation for this day will be in a hotel.
Final group dinner together. Debriefing by the Mentor.
End of the program.
Participants to fly out the next day or continue independent travelling in Quito or in other parts of Ecuador.
All participants to the Mentorship program must read and agree to the Mentorship Terms & Conditions before participating in the program.
Please note that all costs are in AUD (Australian Dollars) unless stated otherwise. Our recommended payment method is via Transferwise as this enables you to pay in your own currency using the mid-market rate, which is the real exchange rate and is significantly higher than those used by banks and/or by your credit and debit card providers. Please proceed to the Shopping Cart page for more information about this payment method (found under direct bank transfer option.)
A deposit equal to 25% of the program cost is required to secure your place on the Mentorship program. The full costs must be paid prior to 4 weeks before the commencement of the program; failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of your deposit. Should a program be unable to progress for any reason, you will be notified at the earliest possible date and your deposit (or full payment) will be returned to you in full.
To reserve your place on the program, please access the deposit page here.
If you have any questions in regards to the Mentorship program, we welcome your inquiries. Please use the contact form below to reach us and we will endeavour to return your inquiry as soon as possible.