Luiz Ribeiro is photographer and photo editor at the New York Post. He was born in Diamantina, Minas Gerais, and arrived in New York 25 years ago. He has supported BrazilFoundation since 2002, photographing the Annual Gala and other events sponsored by the Foundation in New York.

In July this year, while celebrating his 50th birthday, Luiz traveled to five different States in Brazil and visited nine organizations in 18 days, thanks to the support of TAM, to photograph organizations and projects supported by BrazilFoundation. For him this was a unique experience: “This trip was the best gift I could have. I made many friends in all the places I visited. I want to come back to photograph more organizations and projects supported by BrazilFoundation that are working to change the reality of Brazil and its people, ranging from teenagers in Ceara, the elderly in Rio de Janeiro, to the indigenous people in Bahia.”

BF: In your opinion, what is the impact of BrazilFoundation’s support to the organizations you visited?

Luiz: BrazilFoundation’s support is essential to all organizations. It helps to attract new partners and gives visibility to these organizations that would otherwise be forgotten.

BF: You met and photographed the people who coordinate these organizations. What were the most remarkable stories?

Luiz: I saw many different realities. One day I was visiting a community in Rio de Janeiro, the other day I was in the semi-arid outskirts of Paraiba. I was very impressed with three projects: Casa de Santa Ana in Rio de Janeiro, PRECE and Vidança, both in Ceará. I visited a model school that has just been built by the government of Ceará in Pentecoste. The director of the school was one of the first students of PRECE and the school will use the educational method of Manoel, founder of PRECE.

BF: How do you describe the experience of seeing people who have benefited from the activities offered by these organizations?

Luiz: It was fantastic to see the work of these organizations supported by BrazilFoundation and to see those benefited by the programs. Vidança, led by Analia Timbo, does an amazing job with children, adolescents, and young people who would probably be lost to “crack.”

BF: What was the biggest challenge of this job compared to the many others you’ve done?

Luiz: Shooting many people and projects in so little time. I couldn’t spend a long time in some places to delve into a subject. I had to make as many relevant images as I could to show the people and the places I visited. In some organizations I spent no more than two hours shooting, such as Grota do Surucucu, in Niterói. I wish I had more time to delve deeper into people’s stories.

BF: What did you learn from this project?

Luiz: I saw how important it is to show the reality of these people indirectly supported by BrazilFoundation, and to show the challenges they face. I’ve been in places that people do not even have a Health Care Center. I definitely came back to New York even more passionate about helping BrazilFoundation to inspire more people to help these organizations in Brazil. A small amount of money can make a huge difference to these people’s lives.

Check out Luiz’s trip in this interactive map

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