page 2 of 7
In general I found the experience of capturing images of this family and the neighborhood reinforced in my mind the contrasts in the standards of living of these people versus the luxuries of our own lifestyle. It also was hard not to notice that the people here seem just as much or more at ease and friendly, compared to more familiar contexts on the north side of the border. The family we visited was extremely poor by our standards, but they seemed to make do, and content with their situation. The opportunities here seem significantly limited by the public infrastructure and available employment, to some merchants, restaurants, various labor, and fishing related jobs. Grandparents tend to play a bigger role in taking care of the children, while the working age adults try to make a living, and often live separately. Also, the youth seem to be more innocent and respectful; not so contaminated or as aware of the materialistic wealth and media of modern America. However, TV seems to be omnipresent and satellite dishes sprinkle the rooftops for many households. Meanwhile internet access looks more limited to just the more well-off or through some ad-hoc internet kiosks setup within some people's homes.
One other observation is the number of dogs present in almost every household, with many roaming freely about. This looked true in both the local neighborhoods and the American camp where we stayed. They seem to provide a service as an alert system for any visitors, potentially helping to keep things honest. Denise also indicated that people here are not as proactive about getting their pets spayed or neutered, despite a low cost service offered by the government to encourage this.