Reportage in Peru with Leica by Daniel Maissan

Reportage in Peru with Leica

by Daniel Maissan

Dear Steve,

Last time I mailed you for a guest blog, nearly a year ago, I was sending it from India. Thanks again for posting it.

At this moment I’m working with a wonderful foundation in Peru. It’s a foundation that helps families with autistic children in Cusco, a city in the Andes. It’s a heart warming and intense experience, which I’d like to share with you.

This foundation, Abrazos ( – a Spanish/Dutch site) is run by a Dutch lady, living here now for six years already. With the help of experts from the Netherlands, she trained local women to be therapists and so they are now able to help over 170 families in the city. This is done at their headquarters but mostly they do house calls and have one hour sessions with the children in their own house.

They asked me to make a reportage about their work and about the children they help. Of course I couldn’t say no. Again I took the Leica Monochrom to do the photography, as the Black & White has been my comfort and love since India. But I also decided to bring the M 240 as a backup. As we got to the first house call, I decided to use it to film the session. I had never done this before, and of course I didn’t bring a tripod or anything, so it’s a bit shaky here and there. Still I’m really happy with the results and it does give a good picture of the help these kids get.

Below is a video of Eva- Maria, a four-year-old girl who lives in the outskirts of Cusco. She likes to play with blocks, is very interested in photos and sits hours and hours reading magazines, looking at the pictures. As is the case with a lot of autistic children, communication, concentration and changing a daily schedule is hard for her. So this is what Claudia, the therapist, worked on during our one-hour session with her. Video shot with the M 240.

These photos are of different children we’ve visited in the past days. Of course there are several more that you can check at my facebook page  or flickr account . The children are from all levels of society, some live in a one-room house where things have to be moved around for the therapy session, others have a huge house and a father that works all day so the upbringing is left to the mother.  For every child they worked out different exercises like counting, colors, moving through traffic and adaptive skills.


Photo 1 & 2 Austin, 3 years old

abrazos-lo-1 abrazos-lo-2

Photo 3 Jefferson, 5 years old


Photo 4 Yasmin, 3 years old


Photo 5 & 6 Nicolas, 6 years old



Photo 7 Lucas, 10 years old


Photo 8 Angela, 16 years old


Photo 9 & 10 Group therapy, cooking class at Abrazos headquarters.

abrazos-lo-9 abrazos-lo-10



  1. Hi Daniel! First of all congrats on your nice work! I live in Cusco as well and would like to invite you to the >100 yr. Cusqueña brewery which is in Av. La Cultura 725 (I work here), in front of the Nissan dealer. I am also a Leica shooter, albeit film (M3 mostly).

  2. Good photo’s,

    Endless patience these therapists must have.

    For me this is more confronting than the post-mortem photograpy we saw a few days ago on this blog. Being a father, I count my blessings.

  3. First Cusco is one of the most amazing city’s I have ever been to and I love to travel. Second The foundation is a very worthy cause. Third Having been there, seeing your photographs really moved me, touched me and reminded me of the power of a photograph. Thank you sharing.

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