Belen is a neighborhood in the city of Iquitos in Peru. The city is in middle of the Amazon rainforest and you can’t access it by car. It’s the biggest isolated city in the world, accessible only by plane or by boat. It’s the city that stole my heart and I wish to go back to. I’ll post more about it next week, but this week I’ll show you some photos of the magical, bizarre and dirty Belen – a neighborhood in Iquitos, which is referred to be the Venice of Peru. And with a reason – it floods every year. Some of the houses are built on the rafts or stilts for the rainy season when the water levels rise. During this time, canoes are the most common way of getting around.
Belen is the neighborhood in poverty, it’s the kind of a place where people end up in. People who come to Iquitos from the countryside in hopes of better life. Most of the families have no access to clean water, they live in houses that seem to barely stand up and during the high water they are on strange angle – tilted to the left or right, sometimes with leaking floors.
We also went through the market of Belen – it is a crowded, smelly place with piles of meat sitting on the warm tables surrounded by the flies. It’s loud, colourful and shocking to some degree. You can basically find anything in there – from strange fruits and warm meat to bizarre herbs and roots.
I am no documentary photographer, I like to create romantic, nearly fantasy-like positive portraits, but Belen makes me want to go back there and document this place with my own twist of romance in it. Spending few hours in place like that doesn’t justify.
Trip was organized by amazonas.ee