"I am a self-taught artist, and I'm also a perseverant person. In every obstacle, I see an opportunity and this has led to a life filled with satisfaction."
"My life has been tough since the beginning. It's not easy being born poor. I've struggled tirelessly to follow my dream of being a painter. It's been a difficult road, full of complications, but I've been able to work for my passion, for my art.
"I'm Pedro Sosof Ramirez and I was born on the shores of Lake Atitlan on April 13, 1954. My parents were campesinos who worked the land. With them, I also worked in the highlands and on the southern coast. My family's economic necessities made it impossible for me to go to school. But work in the fields is seasonal, so I had to look for other things I could do to make money and get ahead.
"When I was a teen, I discovered I liked to draw. I'd look at the murals in some of our towns and dreamed of being a painter some day. Around the lake, you see all kinds of arts and crafts, and one day I began to paint all on my own. I realized I had this ability. One day, a person who had seen my drawings invited me to paint a mural in a café. That was my first formal job as an artist and it made me very happy. Today I paint in oils and acrylics. I prepare my own canvases so that they're ideal in my eyes for the pictures I have in mind.
"My works are mostly inspired by my own life experiences. Part of my theme is nature, which surrounds us. Another part deals with the traditions and the way of life in the countryside, like my own family's life.
"I am a self-taught artist, and I'm also a perseverant person. In every obstacle, I see an opportunity and this has led to a life filled with satisfaction.
"Through painting, I find a means of expression, of sharing my feelings, and for me, this is the most fascinating part. I enjoy taking long walks through the countryside with my father as he tells me stories of our ancestors and relatives. These walks are a great source of inspiration. Through my art, I can also make a plea for ecology, encouraging people to take care of the earth, as we are losing our forests along with our rich cultural heritage."