Writer and documentary photographer Judy Blankenship is the author of "Our House in the Clouds: Building a Second Life in the Andes of Ecuador," (University of Texas Press, March 2013) and "Cañar A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador." About her first book, a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards, Dr. Michael Hamerly, Brown University, editor of Ecuadorian Studies wrote: "This superb collection of Blankenship's photographs and journal-like text creates a moving, intimate portrait of a people trying to balance the demands of the twenty-first century with the traditions that have formed their identity for centuries."
Blankenship grew up in the U.S., but lived and worked in Canada and Central and South America before settling in Portland, Oregon in the mid-nineties. Since 2005, she and her husband, Michael Jenkins, divide their time between Portland and the small town of Cañar, Ecuador, 10,100 feet in the Andes Mountains. Her second book, "Our House in the Clouds," grew out of their experience building an earthen house using traditional materials and methods and living permanently in Cañar. She is currently at work with the indigenous community on a digital cultural archive that will include contemporary photographs, archival prints, video, music and oral history recordings.
Of "Our House in the Clouds," author and folklorist Joanne Mulcahy wrote: "This is a compelling memoir about creating a life in another culture. Blankenship offers fascinating perspectives on the indigenous Andean world from her stance as a writer, a photographer, and, as the book progresses, an honorary local. ... We come away with a sense of the profound differences and inequalities in the world, but also of the many ways that friendships transcend our divides."