Relationship Between Buddhism and Public Education in Thailand

By: Maria Elena Valdes


The following set of images focuses on two public schools in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand. The first one, Wat Phramahathat School, is located near Nakhon Si Thammarat City and the second one, Wat Khok Lek is in the Tha Sala district which is a rural area. Both schools follow the same educational program but this project was created with the intention of showing the economical difference between both geographical areas. The project also offers a sight of the strong connection between Buddhism and Thai people. About 95% of Thailand’s population is Buddhist. Images of this collection were taken on July 2014.

Relationship Between Buddhism and Public Education in Thailand

Buddism and Public Education



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Author Bio

Maria Elena Valdes was born and raised in Mexico, she is an alumni of St. Edward’s University’s Photo-communications department. With a Bachelor of Fine arts Maria developed deep interest to observe and learn from different environments. She is currently living and expanding her work in New York City. While traveling abroad in Southeast Asia she was drawn towards Thailand’s education system and spent two months documenting it, and hopes to have it published. Her work in Thailand was based in education and religion which gave her a lot of perspective on the importance of education towards building a functional society.

Coming from a different culture than the U.S, Maria Elena realizes that tolerance and acceptance have become fundamental values in her life. Traveling around the world with her camera, she realizes that her purpose is to create bonds and experiences with all kinds of people. Having a shy personality, the camera pushes her from being a mere viewer to actually interact and communicate with people who have a different culture than her. She believes that her photographs are a way to show the beauty she observes in the different cultural ways of living.

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