Grand Rapids Radio Interview

Scott and I (Bobby were up in Grand Rapids, Michigan talking with people and organizations who are well acquainted with Athentikos and the film “Reparando.” While up there, the radio station WCSG invited us to come in and talk a little bit about Becoming Fools. John Balyo and his co-host Amanda were gracious enough to give us a link to the interview that aired live on Wednesday morning.

Behind the Scenes: Production Clothing

Behind the Scenes Production Clothing

A couple of weeks ago I posted on my blog about the clothing I chose to use while in Guatemala filming “Becoming Fools.” So I thought I’d share this article here to give you a little more of a behind the scenes look (more so than others!) of what goes into filming a documentary. Here’s a little from the article:

On my last trip to Guatemala back in June to DP the documentary of Becoming Fools, a new film by Scott Moore and the Athentikos team, I made some changes to my clothing choices that proved to be very effective. The results of my decision has proved to me what an asset good quality clothing can be on any film or video production. Thus, I thought I’d share!

Let me preface by saying I am not paid to endorse REI, Vibram, Mountain Hardware, Kuhl, Arc’teryx or any other brand mentioned in this article!

Ok, I’ve got that out of the way, let’s continue!
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The Big Sleep 2012

The Big Sleep 2012

During Becoming Fools production in Guatemala, I think everyone on the Athentikos team thought at one time or another what it would be like to live in the streets.  We developed close relationships with so many kids who didn’t have to imagine because the streets had been their home for so many years.  This week one of our friends is going to figure out just what it is like to live in the streets by participating in The Big Sleep 2012.

While in Guatemala, the Athentikos team had the amazing opportunity to meet David and Julia Voncannon.  The Voncannon’s started an organization called The Street Revolution out of their desire to bring transformation to the homeless community, prostitutes, children at risk, and drug addicts who are living on or spend the majority of their time on the streets of Guatemala City.  In the production of Becoming Fools, Athentikos was connected with David and Julia.  We had an unforgettable experience with them.  David and Julia guided us to several different areas throughout Guatemala City where street children live.  At each location, David and Julia were met with open arms and the deep relationships they had formed with these people living on the streets was undeniable.

The Big Sleep 2013 

The Big Sleep 2013

The Big Sleep 2012

As every other week the Voncannon’s work continues this week.  However David is taking it to another level by participating in a 24-hour Street Sleep.  The Big Sleep 2012 is a 24-hour period where David and a few other missionary friends will live in the streets just as the street youth do.  From Friday, October 5 to Saturday October 6, David and friends will be staying with a group of street children in the streets of Guatemala City.  They will have no food, only water for the 24-hour period.  Although 24 hours is no match for a lifetime in the streets, we look forward to hearing about David’s experience and the insight he gains about how to help youth living in the streets.

Please join us as we support David and Julia Voncannon, and others participating in this event.

For more information visit: The Big Sleep 2012.

Hot or Cold? Challenges in Any Weather

Hot or Cold? Challenges in Any Weather

Homelessness is a global problem.  Unpredictable and harsh conditions create unique challenges in each climate for people living without shelter.  Even the weather here in Tennessee can be challenging to the homeless population.

Although the specific focus of Becoming Fools is concerned with homeless youth in Guatemala City, but our hope is that Becoming Fools would inspire people to action in their local communities around the world.  With this blog, and many to follow, we hope to educate and encourage people not only in Nashville and Guatemala, but people in Michigan, people in Canada, people in Australia, Oregon, California and all around the world to join the movement in making a difference in this struggle.

Hot or Cold? Challenges in Any Weather

Hot or Cold?

Which is worse?  The freezing cold, or the sweltering heat?  I think even my Mom and I disagree on this question because everyone has their own preference and tolerance.  But which condition is more dangerous for someone living on the streets?  The answer to this question greatly depends on where you live.  Here in Tennessee, where we experience true seasons, both could be similarly threatening to those in the streets.  Nashville Rescue Mission mentions the often-overlooked dangers of extreme heat:

In contrast to those families planning summer vacations, the homeless are faced with survival concerns: how to stay cool and how to stay hydrated. The homeless can be particularly vulnerable to heat waves because they cannot easily take steps to protect themselves, such as staying in air-conditioned places, avoiding direct sun and drinking plenty of water. Some of those living on the streets might be under the influence of drugs, alcohol or suffering from mental illness and are not thinking clearly. Add this to heat and dehydration and you have a lethal combination.

In Howell, Michigan the United Methodist Church opens their doors to the homeless during the winter to provide food and shelter from harsh weather.  The combination of below-freezing temperatures and snow in Northern states present often fatal conditions.

Although each season presents it’s own unique set of challenges to people living in the streets, all require assistance.  Next time you adjust the thermostat in your home, think twice about what it would be like to not have one.  As Nashville Rescue Mission puts it, “Those with low or fixed incomes are also at risk. Many of them are forced to choose between eating or turning on their air conditioner”.

Welcome to the A-team, Brandon

We are very excited to welcome our new intern, Brandon Rojano, to the A-team.  He is working on his media production degree at the University of Houston, and has volunteered about 6 weeks of his summer to help us with video update stories in Guatemala.  We would like to give him this chance to introduce himself…and we invite you to keep checking the blog for his updates!

Setting Sail

The road that led me to Guatemala in the first place is very long, and if I tried to explain it all in one post you would probably get bored and open YouTube. As such I’ll try to be brief. I am volunteering for Athentikos.  I have lived and spent time with both Shorty and Tita.  Both of these amazing people work in hard places, bringing hope and love to those who Guatemala has deemed untouchable and left forgotten.  Reparando means repairing in Spanish, and that’s exactly what Shorty and Tita are doing.  They are working to repair their country, which has been scared and broken. I am especially close with Shorty and have lived with him on several occasions. Walking the same streets as him, journeyed to prisons, and learning so much about what it means to truly sacrifice and give all that you have for those around you.

Welcome to the A-team, Brandon

During one of my stays with Shorty, I learned about Athentikos. I learned about Reparando and about the stories that Scott and Amelia have a passion for telling. They seek to give voice to people with none, and they, like me, have a passion and love for the people of Guatemala. This drew me to Athentikos, because as a aspiring filmmaker this almost exactly matched my philosophy of film. I want the things I create to have meaning, to tell stories of the things that you see everyday. I think film, more than another media has the power to create fantastic worlds and stories. Even though many of the films released are “popcorn” movies, movies can still evoke powerful emotions and reactions. So after a couple of years I contacted them expressing my interest to work with them. Then boom, here I am.

A-team Production

This time around I’ll be working to create a series of short videos updates focused on what has happened in the lives of the central characters in Reparando since its release, their triumphs and struggles, as well as raise awareness and support for their ministries. At the beginning of my stay here in Guatemala, I also helped the Athentikos film crew with the production of the new documentary Becoming Fools. It is tiring work and I’m constantly busy, but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Welcome to the A-team, Brandon

It’s been great to be back, after all the times I’ve been down here this is my second home, and the people here are my family. Every time I come down here it is physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining, but it is good to go to bed after all long day of work and sleep well. I still have a long way to go and a busy schedule ahead of me but the time will go by fast, too fast usually. When I get back to Houston there is a lot of uncertainty ahead of me, but I’ve gotten used to that feeling a long time ago. That’s why I decided to call this blog Setting Sail. During the time I spend here and afterwards I see it as me setting sail into a vast sea, with adventure and excitement awaiting me on my journey.

There’s probably more I could write but I can’t think of it at the moment.  I look forward to the many stories that are lying in wait here, and hope to share them with you soon.

Goodbye For Now
Brandon Rojano