The best photos captured by VOSD photographers in 2021 – Voice of San Diego

Southeastern San Diego, November 4, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Voice of San Diego is known for its groundbreaking investigations that hold leaders and local agencies to account. Our journalists have spent countless hours analyzing complex issues to educate our readers on how specific policies and decisions affect them.

It is not an easy task and sometimes it takes more than just a written assignment. This is where the photos come in.

In 2021, VOSD photojournalists were in the field documenting events and moments that showed how these complex issues affect the people of San Diego.

Here is some of our best work.

Trump supporters in San Diego

The same day hundreds stormed to the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, local Trump supporters protested the 2020 presidential election results at the San Diego County administrative center in downtown. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego Homeless Vaccine

As San Diego County began receiving shipments of COVID-19 vaccine, health workers and vulnerable residents were placed on the front lines to receive their vaccines. Homeless residents staying in the temporary shelter at the convention center, like Rude Rowe pictured above, have received their first vaccines February. 3. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Homeless Accident in San Diego

In March, VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt verified Mayor Todd Gloria’s plan to deal with the growing homeless tent camps in downtown San Diego.

Then a a horrible accident happened on March 15, when a driver entered a homeless camp located under a bridge next to San Diego City College, killing three people and injuring six others. The tragedy put the problem in perspective. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego Unified COVID

San Diego Unified School District reopened classrooms to students whose families chose to return to face-to-face instruction om April 12. The image above shows third grade students from Encanto Elementary Schoolis lying a video during the course. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Tara Buesig, executive director of the San Diego County Harm Reduction Coalition, uses a fentanyl test strip.
Tara Buesig, executive director of the San Diego County Harm Reduction Coalition, uses a fentanyl test strip. / Photo by Megan Wood

Fatal drug overdoses, especially those involving fentanyl, have skyrocketed as the opioids are increasingly pouring into the streets of San Diego and was mixed with other drugs, including methamphetamine. San Diego’s homeless community has been particularly vulnerable.

On May 10, Megan Wood of VOSD followed Tara Buesig, executive director of the Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego County, as she handed out fentanyl test strips in Point Loma. Photo by Megan Wood

CSU San Marcos

After the discovery of former VOSD journalist Kayla Jiminez sexual bullying allegations vs. CSU San Marcos Professor Chetan Kumar, students protested the university’s decision not to dismiss him to June 12. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Coronado High School

Following a tortilla-throwing incident during a Coronado High School men’s basketball game in June, former Coronado students have spoken about how they were mistreated by the district.

Imani Ware and Irlanda Goulding, pictured above, were both part of the soccer team while attending Coronado High School and faced or witnessed racial discrimination. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego Homeless Sweep

San Diego Police Officer Nick Medina issued a warning to a man he said threatened to exercise with a weight while performing a homeless camp sweep along 17th Street on August 18, 2021. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Lidia Davalos sweeps outside near her home in Colonia Nueva Esperanza de Tijuana on September 15, 2021.

VOSD contributor Carlos A. Moreno took to the neighborhood, a former farming area, to get a better look at Amazon’s controversial new warehouse. The images he made as part of a photo essay are austere. They show off a shiny new building – a monument, if you will, to the New World Economic Order – eclipsing the shacks where residents live nearby. Photo by Carlos A. Moreno

Haitian immigrants in Comar

Mexican authorities are helping Haitian immigrants with the help of a translator at the offices of COMAR, the Mexican refugee agency, to register for refugee status on October 13, 2021.

In October, authorities in Tijuana saw an increase in requests from Haitians. Sandra Dibble, Border Report Writer talked to some of these Haitians and how they assess whether they will stay in Tijuana or try to cross the US border. Photo by Joebeth Terriquez

Kendall's Frost Marsh

Matt Costa, a coastal oceanographer measures and notes the different levels of sediment which he unearthed from the Kendall-Frost Marsh reserve at Mission Beach. The researchers will use the samples to determine how many the carbon is in the swamp. Photo by Adriana Heldiz


Gemma Rama-Banaag, head nurse at Paradise Valley Hospital, holds a photo of her late husband Chester Banaag when he was in dental school. He died of complications from COVID-19 in January. 1, 2021.

Within the framework of our First year: the death toll from COVID-19 series of reports, Maya from VOSD Srikrishnam examined how the pandemic affected the Filipino community. She found Filipinos were the third-largest nationality in terms of pandemic deaths in San Diego in 2020. Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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