Tucked behind an exaggeration of luscious wild palms, and an hour and a half drive from towering Panama City, is Maria Chiquita. In this tiny, forgotten, two-street town in the shape of a cross and situated in the province, Colon, are the seeds. The children of Maria Chiquita may not even know that they are akin to seeds - authentic, elusive, and full of potential. I happened upon them on a 6-day trip in 2014 on a search for anything that resembled real life.
In this portfolio we meet Emila and her brother, keeping themselves busy as the women discuss their lottery picks for the day. We meet Tito who is so proud to introduce Little Tito. Little Tito is so proud to introduce a newly acquired skill. We walk through the narrow breeze ways between houses to the Caribbean Sea behind my aunt Furaha after meeting the protector of the community. We don't know his name. We only feel his influence on the young boys. Emila eats an apple. She discovers the seeds.
This little town was just the slice of real life I needed. The seeds of authenticity grow wild and smile freely here. Away from the facade of La La Land, beyond the gloss of fresh highlights and the shine of pouty lips, I remembered the taste of non-genetically-modified possibility in Maria Chiquita.