Paco and Pepe: Into The Hidden City Tomorrow Morning

It’s late. Almost midnight. I’m in the kitchen waiting on the water to boil so I can get one more cup of coffee before trying to get to sleep. But I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight.

It’s been almost four weeks since this dream, this quest, this == oh hell, I don’t know what it is == came to life within me.

Several months ago shortly after getting into Buenos Aires, Ale mentioned The Hidden City to me while we ate dinner one night. In between forkfuls of her mashed potatoes I lisened as she told me about a barrio in town that had about 30,000 residents.

Now, within just a few hours, I’ll be in The Hidden City to spend the night. I was down there yesterday to get some shots for a story I’m working on about a daycare that provides the only shining light in this otherwise pitch black pot of despair, gloom, doom and crime.


One of the teachers at the daycare, a guy named Carlos told me that only two other “Americanos” had ever been allowed inside the barrio to take photographs. Neither of them were allowed to spend the night, I will be the first.

The air tonight is thick. Ale and I both know the risks and potential rewards of what I’m about to do. While she finds herself busy work around the apartment, I focus on writing this. Both of us know the potential for danger and violence, and neither of us want to talk about it.

While the risks are great, the possible reward will be greater. While I don’t expect to win any prizes with the shots I get there, I do hope that another dream of mine may come one step closer to happening.

I just want to get the shot that 100 years from now people can point to and say, “That made the difference”. Maybe that shot will come tomorrow in a place called The Hidden City. Maybe the difference will be made in the lives of 30,000 people that call the barrio home.

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