Recycling Nature in Guatemala

by | Dec 4, 2015

O’Connor’s current works consist of imagery that addresses the reclamation of nature and the relational aspects between humankind and nature. Her other works include works based in her Appalachian roots, documentary work of the Quiche Mayan culture based in Guatemala, and alternative photographic techniques. Kellie’s works have appeared in Lenscratch, Fototazo, Update, and F-Stop Magazines.

The images are created primarily through the use of a 4×5 view camera and a medium format rangefinder. All images are created using film. Further information about the artist’s works is available at


In San Lucas Toliman, a reforestation project began in 1975. If the children of the village bring a two liter bottle full of rubbish to the center, the program director, Torribio Chajil, will give them a sapling to plant in their community. More information on the program is located at…. Photo by Kellie Cason O’Connor.


The prevalence of processed foods sold at local tiendas increases the rubbish content in small villages across the countryside. By Kellie Cason O’Connor.


500-gallon drums catch water from upcycled water catchment systems that are used primarily during the rainy season in Paxixil, Guatemala. This is a pilot program to assist in clean water efforts for local communities when rivers are muddy and swollen from too much rain. The men of the community are being trained to install these catchment systems as a livelihood. Photo by Kellie Cason O’Connor.


Feed sacks line barbed wire fences to further keep animals and people out of the farming fields. Photo by Kellie Cason O’Connor.


Locals in Panamachivak, Guatemala, are being paid for their recycling efforts. They save recyclables waiting for the arrival of the truck to pay them for their goods, particularly metals. Photo by Kellie Cason O’Connor.


Building materials are reused to create expansions of homes. Photo by Kellie Cason O’Connor.

Winter 2015Volume XIV, Number 2

Kellie Cason O’Connor is a fine arts film photographer based in Pueblo, Colorado. Kellie attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design studying photography under photographers such as Laura McPhee, Nicholas Nixon, Frank Gohlke, and Abelardo Morell. 

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