Puerto Vallarta, MX // 09.2015

The people of Puerto Vallarta stole my heart, to say the least, when I traveled there last month for my best friend's wedding. The only regret I have is not having pushed my flight back a couple days so I could spend more time getting to know, love, and respect the locals and learn of their incredible stories. In the midst of Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded, heading straight towards Puerto Vallarta and surrounding cities, my heart has sank into the pit of my stomach and I can only pray for the amazing people I met while I was there. 

I took an instax photo of Layla, who treasured it so much that I handed it to her to keep. I came back several days later and her mom waved me into her shop and ran towards the back. I had not met her yet, so when she unwrapped the instax photo of Layla - protected by sheets of paper wrapped up into a makeshift envelope, tears filled my eyes with happiness. 

Julio was chatting with me when he pointed at his son, across the street, who was playing in the fountain. I couldn't resist taking a photo of the two of them together. "I met my wife while I was working in the restaurant down the street. She was visiting with her mom from Canada and after getting to know one another for awhile, she ended up coming back down to live with me. Now we have two children and we just got married yesterday, which basically means my life is over. No, no, I love her and I love my children. I'm their engine and I keep them going. Everything I do, I do for them."

Until I head back down there again, I'll treasure these photos so much.

Nicole LenderComment