IN THE FIELDS OF THE LORD, I photographed faith-based linguistic missionaries as they embark on their heavenly calling. Their mission was to translate a Bible into the native language. In essence, it was a way to prepare, protect, and preserve indigenous innocence from the inevitable encroachment of the human play.


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John Chao Photography: Missionaries 1973

Ron & Kathy Binder 1973

MISSIONARIES Ron and Kathy Binder are linguists tasked to record the language of the Waunana Indians of Colombia and Panama. Their goal was to create…

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John Chao Photography

Wounaans, Panama 1973

The Wounaans are a tropical forest group of indigenous people dispersed along the border of Panama and Colombia. Originally part of the Choco linguistic family…

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Guajiras, Colombia 1973

La Guajira is Colombian’s northernmost peninsula protruding into the Caribbean Sea and bordering Venezuela with large dunes along the coast…

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Kuna Indians Panama 1973

Kunas of San Blas, known as Cuna when I visited in 1973, are a close-knit group of natives spread over 49 small islands on the northeast coast of Panama.

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Lomalinda, Colombia 1973

Lomalinda MISSIONARIES BASE IN COLOMBIA 1973 Related Decades A Year in the ’70s Share on facebook Share on google Share on twitter Share on whatsapp

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PEDDLING PHOTOGRAPHS Seeking assignments in New York was a vain act yielding little satisfaction. The market is always saturated.

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2010’s DECADES

GRATITUDE: A decade beyond expectation. I learned to live in the moment instead of capturing the moment. . . simply, being present to welcome the moment.

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don't kiss goodbye