Maria Consoli Bartrum has been pursuing documentary photography work for NGOs for the past several years since leaving teaching full time. While teaching, she was part of the founding team of two schools, Hyde Woodstock in Connecticut and a Hyde Leadership Charter School Washington, DC. Since working in photography, Maria has documented a foundation in Chimbote, Peru that has worked to get kids off the streets when they are not in school. Her images there have contributed to the mission of Peru910. She has also worked with and donated images to the United Way of Iowa.
Having taught high school for more than 10 years, I know that whatever I do, I will remain an educator at heart. Because teaching requires a person to first be an invested learner, I took great joy in my profession. And so when I changed careers to pursue my passion for photography, I knew I needed to remain true to my educational roots. I very much hope that my efforts to document Blue Planet Network’s mission will help educate others about the problems facing those who struggle for access to fresh water. I cannot imagine going half a day without safe water — it is a basic need I have taken most for granted in my life — and this undertaking will thus be as much a learning experience for me as it is a chance to bring more attention to the importance and immediacy of water shortages worldwide. I am inspired by the work of Blue Planet Network and honored to be a part in their cause.