Saul Flores sees his photography as more than a hobby or an art. His camera is also a means of making a difference in the lives of children in a Mexican elementary school.
“This college has taught me to use design for social change,” says Flores, a graphic design and business marketing double major. “Design has opened for me a whole new realm of persuasion.”
Flores traveled over 5,300 miles this summer through Latin America taking more than 20,000 photographs. He stayed with old friends and family but also relied on the kindness of strangers along the way.
Often walking 10 to 12 hours a day, Saul also hitchhiked, hung on for dear life on a bus bumper, and even floated in canoes with indigenous Kuna as he made his way from Ecuador to his home in Charlotte.
He endured interrogation by border police, a numbed leg from a brush with a poison frog, and other physical discomfort as he sought, in part, to experience what so many immigrants go through as they make their way to the United States.
His photographs provide a scrapbook of his travels but are also suitable for framing. Prints may be ordered online at www.refiningthelines.com, with all proceeds going to a primary school in Atencingo, Mexico.
The money Flores raised so far is paying a grant writer in Atencingo. The school’s litany of needs include desks, free and reduced-price lunches, and scholarships of $30 per month for the neediest of students.
Flores is a Caldwell Fellow, an NC State scholarship program that emphasizes service as an essential part of a student’s education.
Flores says he has used his design training of reading color, image depth, typography, and “how to relate to people through an artifact” to power his service project through photography.
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