• Celebrations,  Misc.,  Parades

    Discovering America

    When we came to America, a long time ago, we prayed and we placed our flag at the shore. Some of us came in search of adventures, some in search of dreams. Lots of us were running away from nightmares. We brought our religion, we brought our culture, we brought our traditions. And some of the natives received us well, others resisted; but still, we were able to make it and we prevailed. We are still exploring the place, conquering it, and making it our new home. We are the immigrants, and every day, every moment, we are discovering America. All images © Pablo Benavente, aka Pablo Raw. You can…

  • Celebrations,  Parades

    A look back at last week’s Fiesta DC — a celebration of Latino roots

      As it happens every year, Constitution Avenue, home of classic buildings and civic architecture was transformed recently into a colorful display of song and dance. The Parade of the Nations of Fiesta DC, which was held a week ago, is a celebration of the diversity of cultures and rhythms that are part of Latin America. We Latinos were there to say that we are part of this nation but don’t forget our roots — they are our contribution to this great country. All images © Pablo Benavente, aka Pablo Raw. You can see more of his work on his flickr page and on PabloRawPhoto.com. You can follow him on twitter @pablorawphoto. [divider…

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  • Dispatches

    Finding paradise in the shadow of Nicaragua’s twin volcanoes

    It’s called “The land of lakes and volcanoes” and there’s a reason for that. On my trip to Nicaragua this year, I visited the southwest corner of the country. Even though my trip was mostly to visit my family, I couldn’t help but feel like a tourist since I was always surrounded by incredible landscapes, from the majestic beauty of the big lakes to the powerful view of the many active volcanoes. The main part of my trip was to an island called Ometepe (From Nahuatl: Ome = Two, Tepe = Mountain). As you can guess by now, the island is actually 2 volcanoes together, Concepcion and Maderas in the middle…

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  • Sports

    There’s ‘tough’ and then, there’s Rollergirl tough

      The first reaction when I mention Roller Derby is often some sort of gesture: clenched fists, swinging elbows. “Those women are tough” and indeed they are! About 2 years ago I decided it was time to get some experience in sports photography, and hearing about skaters with names like Nasty Pelosi, Rocky Brawlboa, Yankee Scandal and Kung Pow Kitten, I knew I had found the sport I was looking for. It’s challenging: low light, fast pace, constant movement; but there’s more than that. My skater friend “Surly Jackson” can explain it better: “We’re ordinary women doing extraordinary things. People think we’re a different breed, but all roller derby requires…

  • Protests

    Slutwalk DC: Taking a stand against victim-blaming

    With messages on signs, t-shirts and scrawled across their bodies, women and men marched from the White House to the Washington Monument on Sunday morning for Slutwalk DC, a movement aimed at protesting the culture of blaming victims and survivors of sexual assault. From the Washington Post: “The first SlutWalk was held in April after a Toronto police officer suggested that women should avoid “dressing like sluts” to stay safe. Since then, SlutWalks have been organized in cities across the globe.” All images © Pablo Benavente, aka Pablo Raw. You can see more of his work on his flickr page and on PabloRawPhoto.com. You can follow him on twitter @pablorawphoto.    

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  • Events

    Rhythm of the island returns to Cuban Embassy — and DC does the conga

    They raised the flag over the Cuban embassy Monday — 54 years after it last flew in DC. For many of those who came out, the renewal of diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba was a reason to celebrate. People were dancing in front of the Cuban Embassy on 16th Street into the evening. All images © Pablo Benavente, aka Pablo Raw. You can see more of his work on his flickr page and on PabloRawPhoto.com. You can follow him on twitter @pablorawphoto.

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  • Dispatches

    Dispatches: Basking in Peru’s Festival of the Sun

    If the recent Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which put the spotlight on Peruvian culture, has you wanting to take a trip to South America, you might want to consider going in June during the annual Festival of the Sun. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to attend an annual ceremony in honor of Wirracocha, God of the Sun. The ceremony is called Inti Raymi, and it’s a re-creation of the one the Incas were still performing when the Spanish conquistadores arrived. It was performed at one of the most important archaeological Inca sites, Saqsaywaman, located a couple of miles away from the city of Cusco.The Festival of the Sun is celebrated every June…

  • Music

    Pablo’s little yellow camera has the Foo Fighters covered

      After years of doing photography, I have found that one of the reasons why I like it so much is the challenge. Usually, it has to do with the light. Other times, it’s about the location (will I find a good spot where I can take good photos from?). This past weekend, I went to see many American icons of music play at the 4th of July concert at RFK Stadium. “Are they even going to allow my camera in?” Knowing about the restrictions regarding photography, my equipment of choice was a yellow (yes, I have a yellow camera) mirrorless camera; 16 mp and fairly good ISO (I was able…