AGSTAR Photojournalism

Thursday, June 12, 2008

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Former Sandinista Guerrilla Comander Dora Maria Tellez started a hunger strike this Wednesday, pissed off at the government lead by her former revolutionary comrade Daniel Ortega. Tellez founded a Sandinista Reform party that riled the rank and file of the mainstream Sandinista Party. Now back in power, Daniel Ortega wants to erase the refrom Sandinista party off the books before the municipal elections in a couple of months.

here are the pics.


Dora Maria Tellez (sitting in the hammock) starts her hunger strike. She is flanked by a MRS supporter. Photo Tomas Stargardter - Copyright Tomas Stargardter


A MRS supporter in the streets of Managua. Photo Tomas Stargardter - Copyright Tomas Stargardter

Monday, June 02, 2008

This past week we woke up all of sudden, in the middle of a Pacific Ocean tropical strom that threatened to become the first hurricane of the season. It was a surprise for all. First that it came on the wrong side. Usually most hurricanes and/or tropical storms come in from the Caribbean. This one came strait from the Pacific and it made a beeline for the city of Leon, my wife's home town, and it made land fall at Poneloya. A quiet little beach town where we have our beach house.

I got the call while I was in Teustepe, about 100 km. north of Managua. As soon as I got it, I called my wife to let her know and for her to call my inlaws and warn them. I drove back like a madman to Managua and my shooting buddy Oswaldo asked for lift since he was without any tranportation. Two are always better than one so I picked him up as soon as I got back to Managua and we drove quickly towards Leon.

The clouds where black and threatening. The winds started to pick up and trees and power lines and posts where down all along the way. Leonel my brother in law called on the cell phone and told us his roof was gone and that the winds had blown down all the trees in his farm.

As we got closer to Leon rain came in horizontaly and the wind treatened to flip us over a couple of times. Visibility was also bad so we had to slow down for a while.

As soon as we got to Leon the first half of the storm had passed. We drove through down town where wreckage and trees and telephone posts where down. We had to weave in and out of one way streets just to get through town and make it to Poneloya for the second part of the storm.

We did a little off road driving in my pick up truck and made it to Poneloya just as the winds where picking up again. Then we watched the awsome spectacle.

The storm winds picked up sand from the beach, rain and seawater and drove it horizontally inland at high speed. Roofs and tree branches where flying about, but since we where at the beach our only concern was for the swells washing over the road. Since it never arrived as a hurricane the tropical storm was just strong enough to scare you but it did little harm.

The wind driven sand felt like sandpaper and we only dared to shoot from the open window on the downwind side of the truck. Otherwise it would have destroyed our gear and sandblasted off a layer of skin. To bad I still did not have my video camera since it would have been quite an interesting opener for the new video camera.

Then we drove back to Leon. We went to my inlaws house since it has a power plant and electricity was available. I found Ivan, my other brother inlaw with his freind there, so we ate and traded the gossip of the day as me and Oslwaldo edited the images on our laptops. We had power but no way to communicarte since cell phone service was also down, so we drove back to Managua to deliver our images. How wished I had a sat phone.

Only two fatalities where reported as two men came into contact wiht live downed electricity wires.

About one thousand homes where damaged.

Power, potable water, phone service and internet where cut off for the next couple days in Leon.

Eventually all is coming back to normal.

Apart form the tree and telephone posts that the storm felled by the thousands.

All in a days work. In the morning working on a story on absentee parents in one side of a central american republic and in the afternoon working on a tropical storm on the other side of the country.



here are some of the pics.



Tropical storm Alma tears through Poneloya. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Children look at the rain from a window of a temporary shelter in Leon. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Tropical storm Alma tears through Poneloya. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Tropical storm Alma tears through Poneloya. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Tropical storm Alma tears through Poneloya. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Tropical storm Alma tears through Poneloya. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


A man is evacuated form Poneloya. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Bicycle in Leon. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Residents of Leon walk to shelter. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter


Leon. The day after. Photo Tomas Stargardter - copyright Tomas Stargardter

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