Tatacoa Desert. 31 July 2012. A dog and Felipe's skateboard at a makeshift shack in the desert.
Tatacoa Desert. 31 July 2012. Felipe and his friend Manuel skateboarding in the vastness of the Tatacoa Desert.
Neiva. 01 August 2012. Felipe recovering after a day of skateboarding.
Barichara. 28 July 2012. Felipe being followed by his stepbrother Alejandro.
Barichara. 28 July 2012. Felipe and his stepfather Jose taking a break during a trip to the small town of Barichara.
Bogotá. 22 July 2012. Felipe skateboarding on a road close to his home in Bogotá while being watched by his dad Alvaro.
Bogotá. 04 August 2012. Felipe's friend Diego and his tattoo stating 'Skate Life'.
These young skaters on Bogotá's streets look to each other to keep themselves safe, free of the influence of the drug trade, and eagerly looking forward to a day where their recreation might well lead to their salvation.
Bogotá. 04 August 2012. In order to avoid getting hurt by their belts while skating, the boys wear shoelaces instead.
Bogotá. 21 July 2012. Felipe's friend Mateo skating at a local spot in Bogotá.
The city doesn't provide skateboarders with many well-built skate parks. The ones that do exist are primarily outdoors, where skaters are exposed to the region's unpredictable climates and unsafe conditions.
Bogotá. 20 July 2012. Mateo's arm being checked by Felipe, after injuring himself during a failed high stair jump.
In a world where conventional family constructs are scarce, and there is security in numbers, these skaters are trying to earn each other’s respect, while also serving as de facto family for the other members of their group. Like a traditional family, they take care of each other. When someone is hurt after a high jump or a failed trick, the group huddles around them, trying to ease the pain. When some loose their actual family members, they offer support.
Bogotá. 3 August 2012. Felipe's arm marked by a scar from a previous skateboarding accident and a tattoo saying 'Hip Hop'.
Bogotá. 24 July 2012. Manuel, who got robbed and stabbed by local thugs earlier that year, is being watched by his friend Felipe while skating.
Bogotá. 7 August 2012. Felipe getting hassled by a local policeman during a skate session. The police, referred to as "pigs" by the local youth, is especially strict with skateboarders, causelessly patting them down and removing them from their spots.
Bogotá. 25 July 2012. Felipe with his hometown of Bogotá stretched out behind him.