A few years ago, when an increase of unemployment and the economic recession hit really bad in NYC, my friend María Buíles and I were some of those affected by it. Boredom and stress were driving us insane.

One day she called me and asked me if I wanted to join her to work as a volunteer in a seniors citizens' center near my house. So for a year or so, her assignment was to go to the movies once a month with a group of seniors. I decided to work as a waitress during lunch every Thursday, and together we hosted a monthly karaoke party at the center, which was really popular with the seniors.

Then María came to me with this idea of leading photography classes…We posted a flyer and by the end of the week
we had a group of 8 sweet ladies in their late 60s-70s.

The Project: The Class was designed to offer participants a new perspective on their daily life, and an opportunity to record it. Using disposable cameras (found in a dollar store and expired), they were encouraged to use a journalistic, one-photo-a-day style, for 27 days, applying the concepts and tricks that we gave them in a hour-long class.

At the end of the month we picked up the cameras, developed the pictures and prepared a slide show and a new class. This went on for 6 months. For the end of the class we hosted an opening reception at the center, showcasing their strongest pieces. The participants came with their family and friends, it was the event for them. They were happy and proud, talking about their photographs and what they learned. For me was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had. I learned a lot from each of the participants.