Entry Title: "The Inherited Thirst of Mexico"
Name: Nicole Franco , United States
Category and Expertise: Deeper Perspective, Professional


Entry Description: -

Story: Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr. Water you are not going to drink, let it run. -Mexican proverb In the high desert mountains of Guanajuato, Mexico, at the heart of the country, the people thirst. Their thirst is an inheritance of the land. The small rural community of Guerrero sprang into conception where groundwater was once abundant underneath the arid terrain. But, decades of mining, erosion, overgrazing and pollution have left what remains highly contaminated and now, a constant struggle for accessible clean water. Now, pozos or wells that were once generous are exhausted. The people now harvest rainfall to help replenish the levels of groundwater. But the rains come in abundance only once a year. What water can be collected needs to be distributed amongst families and livestock. Between the daily labors that the land commands, eyes gaze towards the sky waiting and praying for a generous rain. Today, the scarcity of water in Mexico is no longer an isolated issue. In 2011 the “Right to Water” was realized as a human rights issue and implemented into the Mexican Constitution. The amendment claims, every person in Mexico is entitled to affordable, accessible, and safe water.

About the Artist:

Nicole Franco is a San Francisco based freelance Documentary Photographer. She studied at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy and is a graduate from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Through photography, Nicole explores social and political themes, revealed through personal narratives. Her work is accomplished both nationally and internationally through publications and competitions: The San Francisco Chronicle, SF Examiner, East Bay Express, JPG and File Magazine, Snapixel, Px3 Paris Photography Competition and The International Photography Awards. In 2007, Nicole received her first of three grants, from the Avon Foundation, to continue working with San Francisco General Hospital's CARE program which provides support to its dynamic cancer community. Thus, initiating the implementation of, A Life Project; an annually funded photography project displayed in the Oncology Ward of San Francisco General Hospital. Nicole was recenlty awarded, The Distinguished Service Alumni Award by the Academy of Art University, invited to represent San Francisco in The Young Photographers Alliance pilot mentoring photography program and participated in the 2010 Eddie Adams Workshop. In April 2011, Nicole was invited to work with the Lucie Foundation, during MOPLA, as both a program advisor and documentary class instructor for SNAPSHOP!, - a photography workshop for at-risk youth in Los Angeles. Her current project, documenting the lives of US veterans transitioning from homelessness into supportive housing in San Francisco, was recently projected at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Nicole had the privilege to work and be mentored by, renown documentary photographer, Colin Finlay. Clients include: Microsoft, San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF Medical Center, Swords to Plowshares, the Hospital Infantil Mexico City , The Wall Street Journal and People en Español Magazine.