We Are Vanajeros
Four wanderlusting photographers & videographers, seeking adventure throughout South America in our 1985 VW Vanagon. We set out to photograph the people we meet on our travels, and give them a copy of their portrait.
We're not just taking photos, we're giving them.
The authentic travel experience we crave is elusive, and the idea of just taking photographs on this journey seemed to lack the scope we wanted. By giving printed portraits to the people we photograph, we’re breaking down the barriers that usually exist between strangers.
Our van is outfitted as a mobile workspace to make and print portraits. We often see that the effect of giving away our portraits leads to an exchange where we're quickly trusted with stories of others’ lives, opening the doors for deeper connection and a more genuine interaction with another culture.
A Journey Through Latin America
The foundation for this project is expanding our cultural worldview, this exploration represents a lot to us as young people who are curious about what travel does for our art and our minds. Since we left home in July of 2014, we've covered 12,000 miles and 13 border crossings--we have just a few fronteras left 'till we reach the end of the line on the southernmost tip of the continent.
Because of the hundreds of photographs we've given, we’ve formed some genuine connections that have lasted far beyond the moment; and been gifted with beautiful, funny, and moving stories of the people of Latin America.
The wheels of our vessel are pointed south and our intentions are set as we begin the next chapter of our project: Ecuador to Tierra del Fuego.
We love our van, Pecan Sandy, and at 30 years old, she's the oldest member of our group. Over the time we have had her, we've been retrofitting her to fit our lifestyle, adding things like wood floors and custom birch side panels to make her feel more like a home than a vehicle.
We are lucky enough to be sponsored by GoWesty, a company dedicated to outfitting and restoring Vanagons. In July 2014, they poured hours of labor and love into Sandy, up-fitting with numerous mechanical and lifestyle-oriented upgrades. Their support has gone so far towards make Vanajeros what it is, and we truly could not have done it without them. If you own a Vanagon, GoWesty is the company to know. If you don't own one, you probably should think about picking one up if only to get a chance to work with these amazing individuals.