Miguel Ángel

When I first met Miguel Ángel, shown in this photograph, he was a luminous youngster who traveled about the open fields behind the barrio (La Yagüita) where he lived, together with a pack of his neighbors and his brother.  It was a time of freedom and excitement, both for the children and (recently out of college and eager to spread my wings) me.  We spent hours wandering, Miguel Ángel and his gang fashioning toys out of found objects (both natural and discarded), swimming in small watering holes created by who knows what, and me amongst them thrilled to be part of the adventure.  

Not much of this remains besides our memories and my photographs.  Some of the fields have been subdivided into a housing development, there is a road which facilitates movement in and out of the city, more cinderblock barrio dwellings, and banditry; our old haunts now both unappealing and dangerous.  And Miguel Ángel… he is grown with a daughter of his own!  He does live on the same block where he grew up, in the same house even, with many of the same neighbors - but the landscape (both physical and social) is certainly not the same.  I wonder where his daughter will go to play?