Elevation Week in Washington with Nat Geo, 2023

Full content: This past week has easily become one of the most memorable and enriching experiences of my life. I had the incredible opportunity to spend time in Washington, where I met the dedicated team behind the scenes that enables me to pursue my passion in the field. As a documentary photographer, solitude often becomes a familiar companion. While solitude suits my independent spirit—akin to a cat relishing its own company—it also harbors a sense of isolation, stemming from a perceived lack of support within the industry. However, this visit marked a significant departure from those feelings.

For the first time, I genuinely felt embraced by a supportive community at National Geographic. The experience of meeting everyone in person, sharing my work on teen motherhood in Venezuela, and discussing the vast opportunities that come with being part of this esteemed family was profoundly uplifting. The warmth and encouragement I received have filled me with gratitude.

I am especially thankful for the invitation, which not only allowed me to connect with my colleagues but also made Milo and Philipp feel welcomed and at home. This week has reaffirmed my belief in the power of community and collaboration, and I am excited about the future projects and adventures that lie ahead with my National Geographic family.

Photos by Estheralice Lopez