As an Ecuadorian immigrant and a military photojournalist, I wanted to incorporate these aspects of my identity into Sabor de mi Vida for Indie Grits Visiones. I decided to share my Ecuadorian culture through food, taking inspiration from a photo project called Land of My Fathers where I documented life on my father’s shrimp farms in Ecuador. Combining my love for photography and my Ecuadorian heritage, I made shrimp ceviche in return for a polaroid of the person receiving the dish. This transaction of food with portraiture created a dialogue and in-depth experience where the person receiving the dish learned about my Ecuadorian roots, and I was able to engage and bond with the participant over a meal.
The results Sabor de mi Vida opened a dialogue where I learned of the greater Latinx community within Columbia, South Carolina. The greatest surprise of the project was how I learned more about my roots from other Ecuadorian immigrants or those who travel there often. Along with learning about my homeland, the greatest experience was being able to connect to others through food, sharing the stories of where we come from, and how we have become a part of the fabric of our local communities.