The sea


This project was produced in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Masters of Arts degree from the School of Visual Communication in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University in 2012. Committee: Rebecca Sell (chair), Marcia Nighswander, and William Schneider.

Jonathan Adams

Someone once said, “If you are waiting for the perfect assignment you need to find it yourself because no one will ever assign it to you.” So I assigned myself this project.


What started as the thought, “wouldn’t this be cool to do a story on” quickly became that nagging thing in the back of my head, saying “if you don’t do this now you won’t ever do anything like this.” Luckily I had a requirement to do “something” for my master’s project in Visual Communication at Ohio University, so why not step off onto an island and see what it takes.


What it took was way more mental energy than I expected, but I survived because of the people I’ve been able to surround myself with, to help me throughout this project. The list is long but I do want to say a huge thanks to the people of Islote for allowing me (affectionately called “Gringo” at least I think it was affectionately) to

document their lives on and off of the Island. A huge thanks to my host Rocio for the fan at night, and the food throughout the day and the motherly worry on her face when she would see my overheated face.


I’ve traveled the world for the past 12 years and I’ve always dreamt of returning to document one of the many unique things I’ve come across. So what this project is to me, is finally realizing that dream.


I’ve learned a lot along this journey and the only thing I hope for now, is that you might find some joy in viewing it. Thanks to everyone that has helped me, my advisors, and thanks again to the people of Santa Cruz del Islote.


Jonathan (Gringo) Adams

Island children

A big thanks to the youth of Islote. The always present children on the island made my stay enjoyable and memorable. Gaining their acceptance, went a long way in the adults tolerating the Gringo.

Adalberto Isaci Cuadrado Ricardo, a school teacher from the city of Tolu helped bridge my understanding of the Spanish language by translating my bad Spanish into what I was really trying to say.

Adalberto Ricardo
diver with go pro

Blas Enrique Meza Medrano for allowing me to strap my camera to his head so I can see his perspective of free-dive fishing.  Even if I could hold my breath long enough to dive down sixty feet, I think the point-of-view approach was far more interesting to me.

Andrea Leiva

I met Andrea Leiva on my first trip to the island and she helped introduce to me the beauty of the people on Islote, and has clarified many questions I’ve had over the life of this project.
Andrea, a native Colombian from Bogota, lived on the island for 15 months researching the area as part of her PhD in Social Anthropology at Ecole Pratique de Hautes Etudes school in Paris France.

Adalberto holding lobster

Juvenal Julio Berrio is that local that knows everyone in the area and is always available to help make things happen. “No Problem” was Juvenal’s favorite saying.

Joe Howell

A huge recognition to my friend Joe Howell, (right) a photographer that journeyed with me on my first trip to Colombia. That trip and both of our desires to step away from the tourist trappings of Cartagena, lead us to this little gem called Islote. His encouragement for the project helped push me to finally taking the jump to pursue this as my master’s project.

Santa Cruz del Islote – Sections