Jerry Englehart

Myanmar Community Church Part One

I connected with the Myanmar, formally known as Burma, refugee community in San Diego last week. There is still the same gratitude and appreciation, but the most noticeable difference is the religious faith in the San Diego community is Christianity. It has been explained to me that the refugee community in San Diego is Christian because minority group’s population percentage is 70% Karen, 20% Chin, and 10% other ethnic minorities from Myanmar.

I can not wait to dig deeper into the community. Find their stories. And bring them to the surface because of the recent, positive political movements in Myanmar.


2011 Year in Review


Throughout 2011 I’ve had a mixture of amazing moments and sad ones. The lowest of the lows was when one of my grandmothers passed away in the spring of 2011 and I drove to New Jersey for her funeral. It was the hardest on my sister and my mother because of their distance and closeness respectively. And yet one of the biggest successes this year, and one I know my grandmother would have been proud to hear about, was a six month internship with Zuma Press starting after the New Year. My grandmother always encouraged me that as one door closes another one most certainly opens.

In 2011 I’ve also been able to find a great community of refugees from Burma in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I will continue documenting their lives along with the community in Southern California during 2012. They have shown me what it is to be more humble, what it means to care for someone openly and empathically, plus their spirit and understanding has been amazing. I am grateful for their acceptance of my presence into their day-to-day lives, their festivals, road trips, and homes. This is why nearly half of the images in this review of 2011 are from the refugee community from Burma.

There are big plans for 2012 that will hopefully allow me to continue to work on personal projects, give back to the photo community, and build more lifelong relationships well into the future.

I wanted to thank a list of people, but it would be obnoxiously long. You know who you are. Everyone one of you I am grateful for on this journey.