New Chapter, New Country

Four-month-old Moby Hjelm helps Beth Trujillo lay out A1 on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, on his mother's last day the Albuquerque Journal.

Four-month-old Moby Hjelm helps Beth Trujillo lay out A1 on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, on his mother's last day the Albuquerque Journal.

This post is a bit overdue I'll admit it. Back in January of this year I had my last day in the newsroom of the Albuquerque Journal. A newsroom that had come to feel like a second home. Journalists, we're funny people. We know our city or our beat all too well, way better than our non-journalist friends. We become a second family when we spend such odd hours with our coworkers, sometimes on last minute road trips, sometimes just filing and editing late into the night racing to the final deadline. We eat (free) pizza on election nights together as the results come in. We celebrate when our coworkers have family milestones: marriages, births, and graduations. And also support each other when harder times hit. I was only supposed to be in Albuquerque for six months. SIX MONTHS. I arrived in the summer of 2007 and almost immediately started counting down. Not that I didn't love it. I did. However, I was in my "intern" part of life and expected to move on to another internship in six months and thus wanted to make the most of my short time there as most interns do. I had a blast. I took every opportunity that came my way. I climbed a crazy peak, flew in a hot air balloon, drove all over the state whenever asked, and tried my hardest to make some cool photos.

I ended up staying nine and half years. The Land of Enchantment really was the Land of Entrapment. I became a staff photographer, then the assistant photo editor, and then the photo editor. A lot changed in that window of time as well. A newspaper that was so focused on the print product, finally started paying attention to the web. (I feel like I can say this as a GenY-er who saw the writing on the wall from the day I walked in the door.) And with the push to web, the photo department had a chance like never before to be seen.

But, I've gotten off track...

About the same time as my maternity leave was starting with my son, my husband was offered a post-doc at the University of Montreal. So it was finally time to say goodbye to my Journal family and start a new chapter in Canada. So on a bittersweet Friday afternoon, I brought my 4-month-old son to work with me and said my goodbyes to the people and building that had welcomed me nine and a half years earlier. It's been a few months now, and I still miss the journalism adrenaline rush, but mostly I miss my co-workers and comrades who made the daily battles worth it.

So, here I am, now in Montreal, missing New Mexico a little, but also enjoying this new wonderful city. If anyone needs a photographer, or a journalist, I'd still very much love to tell your story.

Imprisoned Innocents

Photo Story: Imprisoned Innocents

Each of the 51 women imprisoned in Central Ibarra Penitentiary is also a mother. The Ecuadorian courts allow the women to choose to bring their children to live with them as they serve hard time. The opposite of prisoners, the children are free to come and go as they please. But the youngest spend all their time with their mothers, never setting foot outside. Neglected and broken toys are often ignored. One meal a day is served per prisoner and the families receive no extra food. Likewise, the women are forced to share tiny bunks with their children. Fights often break out among the children as they mimic the aggression they see daily. Despite rough conditions, the mother/child bond provides solace in a hostile environment. Forty-foot walls and a watchtower serve as haunting reminders that misplaced children live in jail. Even in the darkness of imprisonment the mothers hope for a future for their children brighter than their own. This story was produced as part of UF’s Florida Fly-Ins program in 2006.