Portrait of a Mennonite in Antigua Guatemala

Rudy Giron: Portraits &emdash; Portrait of Melody, a Mennonite

I met Melody at terrace of La Casaca café while I was enjoying the wonderful weather of the last days of the dry season. She was sitting on the largest table of by herself. Soon the terrace became crowded and I figured she felt bad because she was occupying the largest table all by herself while other people where just standing up. My geek friends and I were sitting next to her. I mentioned to one of my friends how I really like the Amish look and her plain attire. “I wish I could photograph her,” I sighed. “Why don’t you ask her,” my friend responded. “There’s no way she would allow her picture to be taken,” I countered. Nevertheless, I said to myself, “just ask, you already know she is going to say no.” As she freed the the large table and move to a corner on the terrace bar to finish her frapuccino, I stopped her with the question, “can I take your picture.” She was startled and then asked, “why me?” I simply said: “I like to take pictures of people, especially portraits whenever I can; I just took the portraits of my friends sitting over there.” She said okay. Wow, I could not believe it was so simple. I took about four or five photographs, and this is the best one on my opinion.

After we chit-chatted, casaqueamos at La Casaca my friends pointed out later on, for a little while. I learned her name was Melody and that she was a mennonite who was taking some Spanish classes. I wished I could have talked for a little longer with her and to learn other things about her, but I felt that I had intrude long enough already. What do you guys think, should I have stayed a little longer to learn more about her trip to Antigua Guatemala? Or did I do the right thing.

© 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Stefan Jansson

    Glad you asked here. I am addicted to taking portraits of strangers. Nice light in this portrait of Melody.

  • NYChapin

    I am sure she also enjoyed chatting with you, after all she was chatting up with one of the best cultural ambassadors of Antigua !
    I find that many people that visit Guate and venture past the tourist traps, are genuinely interested in connecting with locals and getting a better feel for the country.

  • You know who else is Mennonite? 😉 (hint: HFH).

    • Really Manolo? I didn’t know that after all these years. Shame on me.

  • Eric

    I second NY Chapin, Rudy…as the best cultural ambassador La Antigua has, you have completed your task. Now, onward! There are more tourists begging to be photographed…!

  • nice photo! I am sure she enjoyed talking with you..

  • Maria

    As a former Spanish student in Antigua….some of the good times were just meeting random people on the streets.

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