Betty is a creative and passionate storyteller. She was born in Ecuador and came to the United States at the age of nine. When her father gave her a camera at the age of 11,her passion for photography was born. As an immigrant child, Betty found in the camera a tool to explore and understand her new surroundings, and to navigate the two cultures in which she found herself sandwiched—American and Latino. Her eyes have not strayed far from a viewfinder ever since, as she has worked her way from freelance photojournalism to producing and directing her own documentary films. She is attracted to issues of youth, immigration, and identity, and stories that celebrate the strength of the human spirit.
Most recently, Betty completed work as a director of photography, co-director and co-producer for Can’t Hold Me Back, a short film following 17-year old, Fernando Parraz, as he becomes the first in his family to earn a high school diploma–his ticket out of the struggles of inner-city poverty and violence in Detroit. This short film was part of the PBS Online Film Festival and broadcast on PBS Independent Lens in 2013. She is in post-production on her first feature film called, DreamTown, following three afro-Ecuadorian soccer players as they pursue their dreams to make it out professionally amidst immense odds. DreamTown has garnered the NALIP/HBO Documentary award and NALAC grant, and a short version on Afro-Ecuadorian soccer players was published on PBS’s Frontline/World.
Her work has taken her around the world,from Southeast Asia to Latin America, and has garnered numerous awards, including a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts, and the NYFA Photography Fellowship, the Latino Producer’s Academy, and Brooklyn Council of the Arts. Her photographs have been published in the New York Times, VIBE, VIXEN, Trace and Esquire Magazine. Betty holds a B.S. in Marketing from NYU, an M.A. in Journalism and Documentary Studies from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and a certificate in documentary photography from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in Maine. She is based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.