Gran Buenos Aires: "Río Encantado - Charmed river"
This is a project about football (soccer) in dirt fields and barefoot children, in a neighborhood in Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina. These are the very places where the football stars are discovered, and where parents dream of a better future for their children.
I started this project with some prejudices and fear. The Greater Buenos Aires has some dangerous places, and going solo with a camera in hand, might be not a good idea. Believe me, you don't need to go to the Middle East for risky photography. However, I wanted to give it a try, and happily, I've found a human group that works to maintain the kids out of the streets, and at the same time, give them a place to play the game they know and love best.
The place is a small football school, with a dirt field, in a place named Río Encantado (Charmed river), after a small stream that decades ago was the playing ground for the children that lived around. Today, it is not a river and much less, charmed, but a dirty channel filled with garbage. The people is working hard to make the place a better one.
The school gives the children socks, jerseys and boots. There are matches every weekend. Families take their children, and have a lot of fun. There is a small kiosk that sells candies, sodas, sandwiches and fried tortillas.
They needed photographs to show to the authorities and get some support to construct better facilities, so they welcomed me very kindly. It was not that hard, after all. You just need to be respectful. Then, a smile opens any door.
I self-published the project in a book. Contact me, if you want to preview or purchase it. Thanks!