Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sony Style USA | Blog

Cristina is featured on Sony Style | USA blog

Check it out!

Cristina is 'wading' out the perfect shot_Yucatan RAVE

Cristina's RAVE Mission is to document the human landscape in the costal town of the northern Yucatan peninsula, more specifically human well-being and the connection with nature. Here she has been inspired by the elegance of a flock of flamingos at sunset, and is waiting like a good wildlife photographer for that perfect shot. will she get it?.....find out at WILD9, the 9th World Wilderness Congress in Merida Mexico. November 6-13 2009.

Hurry this Thursday October 29 is the last day to register online!
To register from October 29th to the 4th please contact Daniela Morales. (+52 55) 5615 9650 / 9817

Cristina's BLOGS about her Yucatan RAVE Mission


Monday, October 26, 2009

2 presentations, 1 great exhibit!

Cristina is speaking today... twice!

Her first appearance is at the Women's Conservation Forum discussion about the importance of December's climate change conference in Copenhagen and the effect this conference will have on international conservation -Conservation International

There will be a special viewing of A Climate for Life photography exhibit that will open this afternoon at Monday, October 26, 2009
12pm - 2pm
Ronald Reagan International Trade Building
The Rotunda - 8th Floor Washington, DC
Ticket Price:
Women's Conservation Forum member - Free
Non-member - $50

To purchase tickets or become a Women's Forum member, click here.

The second presentation will be during the official exhibit opening today :
3:00- 5:00pm.
Ronald Reagan International Trade Building
The Rotunda - 8th Floor Washington, DC

* click on the images to see them larger!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Cristina presented at CLICK646 this past weekend in Uptown Greenwood for click646.
Cristina spoke about her recent work as well as the International League of conservation Photographers (iLCP) - of which she is the Executive Director. The iLCP Borderlands RAVE exhibit is on display for the festival as well.

Hear from Cristina - LIVE FROM THE FESTIVAL

Izincab Hacienda ; Yucatan RAVE Day 5

There are few smells I love more than that of my daughter’s skin and the early morning air in the tropical forest. There is no other smell like it. It hits you with the power of a thousand different blossoms, promised rain, and the musty scent of moist dirt and mossy shade. It truly fills your lungs and your soul with the rich aroma of mother earth at her very best.
That is the smell I woke up to this morning as I opened the double wooden doors on the window of my bedroom in the beautiful Hacienda Izancab, 45 minutes south of Merida, Yucatan. A magical corner of the Yucatan peninsula where time seems to have stopped still some 50 years ago.
The hundreds of stately haciendas that flourished during the first part of last century, providing jobs for thousands of Maya Indians and feeding the economic engine in this part of the world, depended on a single crop for the survival: henequen.
Henequen, or sisal as it is known in other parts of the world was grown here and its fibers shipped all over the world to make ropes and sacs for storing food. When artificial fibers were invented, however, they quickly replaced the less durable and more expensive natural fiber and the whole industry that supported the rich lifestyle of the hacenderos, collapsed.
The once proud haciendas proved too expensive to upkeep and they soon were abandoned and left to crumble under the persistence of rain, wind and sun, and the occasional hurricane.
My lovely bedroom, however, is not in a crumbling hacienda, but in an exquisitely renovated one, managed by Calderwood travel. They have rescued the decaying corpses of over 2 dozen of these haciendas and have restored them to their original beauty, while adding the comforts of the 21st century…namely hot water, air conditioning and the most fabulous Yucatecan cuisine in the land. They also have opened new job opportunities for the surrounding communities, who were also struggling after all jobs disappeared along with the henequen.
Jenny and I have a surreal dinner, sitting in the large veranda on our own and trying to imagine what the Doña of this hacienda was like. Did she keep busy with embroidery or horseback riding, or did she spend time swimming in the nearby cenotes? I am sure there are wonderful books written about every detail of this lifestyle, but as stroll throughout the impeccable grounds, we prefer to imagine what the gardens must have looked like and we wonder at the lavish parties that surely took place here.
We truly have the best job in the world; Starwood has graciously hosted us, along with several other photographers working on a RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) to document the cultural and natural treasures in this area. We hope our images will inspire tourists weary of the bad news they hear about Mexico, to visit the Yucatan Peninsula, an area that is not only safe and friendly, but also magical and intensely Mexican.

Learn More about the Yucatan RAVE HERE

Read more RAVE photographer Blogs HERE
01_Logo_BILINGUE.jpgImages from the Yucatan
RAVE will be highlighted at
WILD9 November 6-13, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

When the Santos come marching in, Yucatan Day 4

Although I was raised in a pretty observant Mexican Catholic family, it has been a couple of decades since I last sat through mass. Today, however, we waited on two masses and one rosary to get our shooting done; more than my fair share for at least another 20 years.
First mass was in the small Yucatecan town of Dzilam Gonzales, where we woke up to find the whole town groggy after a night of rodeo, dancing, and drinking on the eve of the celebration of the Day of Saint Francis of Assis; patron saint of animals, and apparently also patron of every small town in Yucatan. We found a colorful wall near the church to photograph people as they walked by. The rising sun coupled with the bright wall made for some really interesting studies in shadow and color.
About an hour later we moved on to the town of Telchac, some 20 kilometers away to continue photographing the religious festivities. We arrived as Saint Buena Ventura, the patron saint of the neighboring town of Sinanche was being carried into the town church. Apparently, saints make regular visits into each others' churches, where they get to listen to the mass before they are carried back into their own church.
The mass at Telchac, attended by some 1000 faithful, culminated in a huge procession unto the streets, with the statues of the virgin Mary, the visiting saint, and Saint Francis himself being carried on the shoulders of the devout around town. It was at least 100 degrees by the time we finally found shelter in the air conditioning of our rental car.
En route to the town of Izincab, where we planned to spend the night, we ran into a group of beautifully dressed women. We stopped to ask about their dresses and we ended up getting invited, or might I say, we ended up crashing a private party at the Rancho San Francisco, where they were performing traditional Yucatecan dances, again in honor of Saint Francis. We ended up photographing the festivities AND sitting through a full rosary.
As it turns out, Saint Francis is a pretty popular saint here and the festivities will go on for a few more days. What we will remember the most is not just the amazing marriage of Christian and Mayan traditions for religious observance but the fact that that Saint Francis and the people of the Yucatan can throw a mean party.

Read more photographer blogs from the Yucatan RAVE

Learn More about the Yucatan RAVE

Images from the Yucatan RAVE will be highlighted at WILD9 November 6-13, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

La Corrida Yucatan RAVE Day 3

There is something wonderfully exciting about rodeos, and in the case of a small-town Mexican rodeo, things can not get much steamier. Take 6 young men, clad them in tight “torero” outfits, and throw them in the rodeo in the Mexican mid-day sun, and you have the beginnings of an exciting afternoon. Add an angry bull and bleachers full of young Mexican girls and things get downright hot. Jenny and I happened upon this small-town rodeo in the town of Dzilam Gonzalez while driving around on a RAVE assignment for the International League of Conservation Photographers. This is one of several events built around the celebrations for Saint Francis of Asis; the patron saint of animals. The rodeo, coupled with a street fair and a disco party are all part of a week-long celebration in honor of the saint.
Jenny and I debate whether photographing this event has anything to do with the subject of our RAVE assignment, which is to document the relationship between the land and the people. Well, when it comes down to it, what we are witnessing is merely an extension of the “cattle-culture” that dominates this part of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cattle is one of the main economic drivers for hundreds of small ranchers and it is reflected in all aspects of the land and the people. The young men that surround us are of Maya descent and look interestingly out-of-sync dressed in cowboy outfits, down to the boots, which, by the way, are probably not the most suitable foot ware in this hot weather.
In any case, we spend a delightful afternoon watching a game that has very little to do with traditional bullfighting. In this “corrida”, Yucatan style, there are 5 “toreros” in the rodeo at any given time. After the “toreros” have chased the bull around for a few minutes and it looks tired enough, a gang of up to 20 horses erupt into the rodeo and compete to lasso the bull. The bleachers explode in cheers every time the bull comes near a horse. The lady sitting next to us explains that the previous weekend four horses were gored and gutted by the bull; all of them died.
At the end of the day, the best part of this “corrida” is that unlike traditional bull fighting events in other parts of Mexico and Spain, where the bull is speared and killed, in the “Yucatecan corrida” the bull ALWAYS gets to live, which comes as a huge relief for both Jenny and I. It turns out it is too damn expensive to kill several bulls for entertainment each weekend. Instead, it is just chased around a little and it leaves the rodeo unharmed. We call it sustainable bullfighting.

Read more Yucatan RAVE photographer blogs HERE

Images from the Yucatan RAVE will be highlighted at WILD9 November 6-13, 2009


from the Yucatan RAVE will be highlighted at WILD9 November 6-13, 2009

More Buzz surrounding Photographers at WILD9

Photographers descend on the Yucatan Peninsula to illustrate the region and inspire action to conserve its threatened beauty.

Fotógrafos de conservación en WILD9: Oradores confirmados

Fishing for Water Day 2 of iLCP Yucatan RAVE

It turns out that water IS huge, says Jenny to me as the lights flicker back to life in our hotel and the water pump starts working. We have checked into the only hotel in the small Mexican town of Dzilam de Bravo in the northern coast of the state of Yucatan, Mexico. We have been traveling for three days along the coast, driving on sand roads and eating mostly peanuts. Yesterday we chased flamingos into thigh-deep water and today the temperature reached almost 100 degrees C. So yes, Jenny, water IS huge and in most places it is hardly a guarantee. Just one of the many things we completely take for granted in the US.

The assignment Jenny and I have for this part of the RAVE deals with the fishing communities in this area and their intimate dependence on healthy marine ecosystems. Octopus is the main catch this time of year. Hundreds of small boats carrying 3-4 four men leave the port every morning. They spend the whole day fishing off the coast in tiny satellite boats, called “alijos” that are lowered from the larger vessel. One man sits in each alijo, under a murderous sun, baiting lines with large crabs. Their prey is a small species of octopus, which most be very plentiful, as the fishermen come back with load after load of the wiggly creature.

People are immensely nice here. Everyone offers help and information without much nudging and despite the troubles that dominate much of the rest of Mexico, the Yucatan peninsula remains safe and very pleasant. As I move around the various fishing villages, people are quick to smile and show me their catch. They take the time to explain how they fish and the travails of their profession. The only real dangers are the police barricades we encounter every once in a while. They are more dangerous because they have poor signage and are difficult to see when traveling fast on the highway. The officers assure me it is safe and that the barricade is just a way to maintain a close eye on shady characters that might be transporting drugs. Apparently, this is not a big issue in this part of Mexico.

The best part of being assigned to shooting people during a RAVE is that we get to sleep in little towns where it is possible to find a hotel with clean sheets and a fan. Water, as we are finding out is intermittent and optional.

See more of Cristina's Images

Read more photographer blogs from the Yucatan RAVE

Learn More about the Yucatan RAVE

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sony Artisans of Imagery at Aperture Galley in NYC

Cristina is a featured photographer at the Sony World Photography Awards 2009/10 Global Tour and Sony Artisans of Imagery. Exhibiting at the Aperture Gallery Thursday, October 22, 2009 –Friday, October 30, 2009!

"As someone whose work explores the edge between healthy ecosystems and healthy people, I am most often confronted with the opposite. A planet that is rapidly losing the functionality of the very ecosystems that provide the water, food, air, shelter and medicine that we all need, but that the poorest of the poor intimately depend on. It would be easy to exploit this drama, but with my images I refuse to fulfill the prophecy of their desperate situation. I am often reminded that despite the worse challenges, people, and especially children often have reasons to be happy and that is how I choose to portray them. I want my work to bring back the dignified, hopeful attitude of the people I meet. The common thread in their lives and mine is that they too rise up every morning hoping things will get better. " - Cristina Mittermeier
Image taken in Madagascar, January 2009
Want more of Cristina's images? Click HERE!

Click here to Learn More about the exhibit
Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
Between 10th and 11th Avenues
New York, New York