Colombia
Sharing Stories: illustrating for others

Sharing Stories: illustrating for others

Recently I’ve been sketching and illustrating scenes from Colombia that have been present in my daily life for the past year. I’ve shared several of these images on Facebook and Instagram, and to my surprise, I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. Some Peace Corps friends have even commissioned me to illustrate some meaningful parts of their...
The Mangroves of La Boquilla

The Mangroves of La Boquilla

[markers, pen and colored pencil on 11″ x 14″ paper] The mangroves are an integral part of La Boquilla; fishermen stand in the knee-deep water and cast their nets, native guides row tourists through the winding tunnels, crabs, pelicans, termites and stray dogs make their homes within the vegetation, and residents live on slivers of...
The Mochila Vendor

The Mochila Vendor

[marker and pen on paper, 11″x 14″] Within La Ciudad Amurallada–Cartagena’s historic walled city–vendors sell an array of colorful, handmade goods. Long beaded necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and prints of Botero’s pudgy nudes are neatly arranged on the brick sidewalks. The wall of mochilas–over-the-shoulder bags handmade by the indigenous Wayuu tribe–catch my eye. The colors have...
#4, Collaging Colombia, The Street Below

#4, Collaging Colombia, The Street Below

 [Magazine pieces in 7.5″ x 10″ sketchbook] La Boquilla, Bolívar, Colombia. November 2013. Squeaky pedals on a bike, roosters crowing, stray dogs barking, a man rolling his cart down the street and selling a dried corn drink by yelling “PETO!”–these are the sounds of the street below. The sun shines through the papaya and palm trees, allowing...
A Different Mr. Fox

A Different Mr. Fox

  *If you’re not familiar with Mr. Fox, the one-hit-wonder reggaetonero from Cartagena (I think), check out the video for “USHHH.” You’re going to have to listen to the audio here, because it’s been removed from the video due to copyright laws. You won’t be disappointed.   -Text and illustrations by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights...
Maps and Markers: A Fish Vendor in La Boquilla

Maps and Markers: A Fish Vendor in La Boquilla

Mapping a section of La Boquilla A fish vendor down the street from my house Everyday I wake up between 5:30 and 7:30 AM. As part of my morning ritual, I wander over to the balcony and observe Boquilla’s principal street below. I see students meandering along the sidewalk in their uniforms, a grandmother sweeping her...
Maps and Markers: Manzanillo del Mar

Maps and Markers: Manzanillo del Mar

A map of Manzanillo del Mar, located north of Cartagena Manzanillo del Mar is a small pueblo located on the beach just beyond La Boquilla, the community where I live and work. In La Boquilla, 10,000 residents live on a narrow strip of land, but in Manzanillo, there are only 500. (To draw my map, I...
High School Photography Camps in La Boquilla and Manzanillo del Mar

High School Photography Camps in La Boquilla and Manzanillo del Mar

This past month, my Peace Corps neighbor Francis and I led two photography camps at our sites, encouraging groups of 15 motivated students to reflect on two important themes: family roots and the meaning of hope. Francis and I both live north of Cartagena; she lives in Manzanillo del Mar, a tranquil pueblo of 500 people, and I...
Maps and Markers: Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

Maps and Markers: Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

[This post is the first in a series called, “Maps and Markers,” illustrating a specific place on the coast of Colombia with a hand drawn map, marker and pen sketch, photos, and a short story about my experience or relation to that place.] Exactly a year ago, when I received my Peace Corps site placement in...
I've been a little lost, but here are a few links from the past year

I’ve been a little lost, but here are a few links from the past year

I photographed this man fishing at sunset from Cartagena’s walled city. The first year of my Peace Corps service in Colombia has come and gone without ever having to put on a sweatshirt. (That’s kind of a lie since I did visit Bogotá and Maine in July.) Nevertheless, I’ve (seemingly) attended hundreds of Peace Corps trainings,...
Front Doors in Cartagena's Downtown

Front Doors in Cartagena’s Downtown

For awhile, I’ve been wanting to photograph some of the homes scattered along the narrow streets in Cartagena’s downtown neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are usually quiet–just beyond the bustling tourist attractions and restaurants. Filled with bright colors, peeling paint, intricate architectural details, overgrown plants and people with somewhere to go…   -Text and photography by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com....
From Korea to Colombia: an illustration of my cell phones

From Korea to Colombia: an illustration of my cell phones

When I was a child, my family had an old fashioned rotary phone connected to the wall by a curly cord. The numbers were arranged in a circle, and in order to call someone, you had to spin each one to a fixed stop position. I can still picture my mother, with her post-eighties perm, hurriedly twisting...