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13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Boy Behind the Gate

In my eyes, sustainable travel means connecting with local culture and creating positive social change. It means taking the time to meet with the people, to help communities in need and to make a commitment to change, at the very least, one person's life. When I travel to third world countries, not only do I aim to help people with resources, I also seek to put smiles on peoples faces, to inspire them through the camera. I shot this photograph on a sugar cane plantation in the Dominican Republic where I have been doing repeated humanitarian missions, namely teaching art and photography workshops to the youth. This boy was having fun spontaneously joking with me behind the dilapidated gate surrounding his humble home. This photograph represents the relationship that complete strangers are able to develop thanks to photography that can easily change each other's lives.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 12.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: La Romana, Dominican Republic
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Copyright: © Erica Leeds