The Image: Simon Burch, from the series "Soacha, Bogotá"
I visited Colombia for the first time in 2007 with Trocaire, an Irish Charity working in the country. One of the areas we visited was the urban slum in Soacha, on the hills above Bogotá. The thousands of displaced people living here have come to the city in search of jobs and sanctuary, many were forced to leave their homes in the countryside, often at gunpoint.
The people here are extremely welcoming and friendly, but it is hard to escape how tough their lives must be. Even getting from the city to the area, a trip which many residents make daily, is arduous and dangerous. As we made our way up into the hills, we passed a swamp where reportedly murdered Colombian officials are buried. I can only imagine what it must be like for a child growing up here.
This photograph shows a plant rising above it all, covered in dust, yet still able to flower.
- Simon Burch