At a time when virtually all other photographers focused on the metropolitan elite in the nation's capital, these three revealed the rapidly changing cultures in the interior of the country.Kohei Yasu (who became Juan José de Jesús Yas in Guatemala) was the first person to migrate from Japan to Guatemala in 1877.“I was very sceptical about it at first,” admits Alma, “because in Guatemala it’s not very common.
Alma and I exchanged a few messages and three days later I closed my account.” They have now been living together since June 2015.
Taken by the photographers Juan de Jesús Yas (Japan's first immigrant to Guatemala), José Domingo Noriega, and the Mexican of Italian descent Italian Tomás Zanotti, the images are central to the understanding of ethnicity and culture in Guatemala.
Inherently fragile and made more so by climatic and geologic conditions in Guatemala, the glass plate negatives will be transferred onto flexible negatives, copied digitally, and made publicly available for the first time to researchers and the general public.
They also documented local popular traditions and the natural and urban landscape of the region, leaving an excellent record of the state of Antigua's colonial architecture in the late 1800s -- after the 1773 earthquake but before the devastating earthquake of 1976 which left the city in ruins.
Tomás Zanotti was a contemporary of Yas, and born in Mexico to a Mexican mother and an Italian father.