Photographer’s names are not often remembered by people but their work makes an impact in our minds and hearts. Who can forget Steve McCurry’s famous photo of the Afghan girl that made the cover of National Geographic’s magazine on June 1985 or the heartbreaking photo taken by Nick Ut of a burned and naked nine-year-old girl running from a South Vietnamese napalm attack in 1972? These images are cemented into our own memories of the people that live in different parts of the world. Photographers hope their images capture a moment in history that will serve as a moral reminder, a celebration, or the push to fight for human justice.He wanted to bring attention to the over 31,000 lives taken during President Felipe Calderon’s war on drugs and its victims.
It translates to 31,000 Images For Peace.
Huerta didn’t know that his venture further into the corridors of the market was going to change his professional life and meet a mesmerizing little girl.
“The beauty of this girl was similar to the panoramic views I was able to appreciate every time I turned around. She´s deaf, the way to communicate with her was by signs,” he said of the little girl. “It is no mystery that the beauty of the true Mexican woman is way above all beauty contests.”
The most beautiful girl in Mexico.
From one end many questioned Huerta, urging him to choose a more European-Spanish woman to receive such a title.
They questioned the shutterbug if he would have chosen someone with brown eyes. While others reminded Huerta that the natives of Mexico were, “raped” by the Spanish during their conquests, resulting in Adriana’s blue eyes.
Some took the title and changed it to the most beautiful girl in the world and not just Mexico.
He launched his next series titled Nación Nativa which translates to Native Nation.
But for Huerta, it is not enough to share the photos of the people of Mexico on social media where he has over 117,000 followers on Instagram.
“From the beginning of the project, I knew this was the next logical step,” he reveals to Remezcla. “The documentation of indigenous groups of Mexico should be done through a book, not just through social media.”
The book will have unpublished photos. Huerta wants to point out the money he is raising will go towards the design, printing, and drafting of the book.
The deadline for the Kickstarter was July 2, 2016. The funding goal was not reached but Huerta is not giving up. “That’s the next goal,” he admits. “For a publishing house to become interested and publish the book inside and outside of Mexico.”
“Some of these towns are almost extinct, and you can only find information and statistics about the majority of these groups, but no real documentation,” he explains. “There isn’t a legacy to help them preserve and protect their customs.”
“It is surprising that we have more than 57 native cultures (in Mexico) and we don’t know at least half of them,” Huerta told Huffington Post. “The information is nearly nonexistent.”
“México is more than Chapo Guzmán, tacos and Cinco de Mayo. México is bigger than any kind of wall, México is more than you can imagine,” Huerta posted on Instagram.
The indigenous people are as diverse as Mexico’s landscape. They can don different traditional clothing that vary from feathers, flowers, embroidery, and leather craftsmanship.
“The culture and history of Mexico relies on them. I also hope to make others conscious of the treasure that we have and what these cultures value,” Huerta optimistically says. “I hope that we can recognize and respect these cultures through my photography. They deserve it.”
“Communication is what makes us click,” he explains. “I share interest in what they do and I let them know that I am looking to learn more about them. After conversations and sharing silences, I earn their trust and that is when I am accepted by them. This is when I am able to portray them and therefore, able to tell their stories.”
Adriana’s sister, Liz, is one of Huerta’s followers on social media.
He revealed that after chatting back and forth, they made plans to meet again.
“After six years we saw each other, at the same place, with the same smile,” he recalls.
Huerta revealed that Adriana’s bright blue eyes are that colour for the same reason she is deaf, she suffers from Waardenburg syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
“It was never the color, it’s what is behind it, that gaze, it was never the color, it was always Adriana, the most beautiful girl in Mexico,” Huerta argues.