national geographic
Carlitos Rodriguez

By Jill Fox

During the pandemic, Parkland resident Carlos ‘Carlitos’ Rodriguez received an incredible opportunity to hone his craft with two photography experts.

National Geographic hosted Virtual Photo Camp: Democracy in Action, led by world-renowned photographers Andrea Bruce and David Guttenfelder, as an alternative to the in-person camps offered in the past.

The four-day event, led by the National Geographic Explorers, challenged Rodriguez and 26 other students to share their experiences through storytelling and give their own perspectives on democracy in their own communities.

“We were educated by two amazing photographers,” said Rodriguez, a 2019 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate, who uses photography to help him understand a different point of view.

national geographic
One of Carlitos’ submissions to National Geographic {Photo by Carlitos Rodriguez}

The self-proclaimed artist, photographer, filmmaker, and musician said he loves everything that has to do with art.

The February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gave him a desire to inspire, motivate and help others heal.

“After the shooting, I was involved in community organization and activism,” he said. “I felt there needed to be a bigger focus on the emotional side of everything.”

Rodriguez, a resident of the MiraLago community, runs a nonprofit called Stories Untold, which encourages people to share about the violence and injustice in their communities.

“I’m very passionate about helping people find their voice.”

To learn more about National Geographic Photo Camp, visit

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.

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