As part of our Spring 2021 Youth Facilitation Lab, we (Sandra, Mariela, Roger, y Edin) spent the day with artist Ana Andrade learning about her work which incorporates microscope photography. Our afternoon was spent walking around Tijuana with our cameras, noticing what textures, colors, and images sparked our imagination in our viewfinders. At the end, we printed our photos on Selphy printers and made zines out of them.

This process primarily helped to support Roger’s creative process in the production of   El Primero, a fotozine celebrating Roger’s neighborhood, family, and nature, published several months later. It also supported Sandra and Mariela’s process as they ideated on the possibilities for their youth photoprogram– something which eventually would take the shape of a Cyanotype Workshop & Fotowalk at Tijuana Zine Fest the following month.

Many thank yous to Ana for welcoming us into your space and sharing your brilliant world with us. Our hearts and minds were full as we explored with you! Thank you also to Yssy (youth documentor) for archiving our day, and to artists Luisa Martínez, David Peña, Rizzhel Javier,  Jeff Valenzuela, and Alejandro Arreguin Villegas (Roger’s mentor) for coordinating, crossing, laughing, and making with us.

Ana and Roger experimenting with the microscope camera.
Roger and Ale experimenting with shots on the fotowalk.
In clockwise order: Rizz, Luisa, Jeff, Edin, Sandra, Mariela, Ale, Roger. <3
Luisa, Sandra, and Mariela sharing photos.
From left to right, first row: Roger, Luisa, Edin, Winter. Second row: Jeff, David, Sandra, Mariela, Yssy.

The Homegrown Grant and Facilitation Lab (Spring 2021) was a space for young people interested in building unique learning environments around topics, projects, and points of interest they care about. The program aimed to build a collective of young leaders in San Diego and Tijuana who wanted to develop facilitation skills that challenge conventional ways of learning. 

The Lab was originally conceived as a virtual, 4-month long intensive program which provided each youth-created project with community, support, tools, and resources—including access to a network of peers, facilitation training, and a $700 microgrant– to dream up their own learning projects. We wanted to prioritize the organic timing of each project, which we recognize as being shaped by our personal lives and our own learning journeys, all of which develop at their own pace. Because of this, although the Lab’s workshop sequence ended in Spring 2021, their resulting projects were grown across several months later (and the friendships we built in the process lasted long beyond the Lab! ). 

Explore more Facilitation Lab projects 
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