Sara Aliaga – BOLIVIA Justina is a female Quechua miner from the district of Potosí, in Bolivia. Since colonial times, Cerro Rico de Potosí has been a centre for mining activities. Where she lives, Justina is known as “Blanca” because her skin is impregnated with “copajira”, a powder from the mine that is dispersed whenever extracted stones are offloaded.
Peter Alex Ríos – BOLIVIA In Bolivia, agricultural production is carried out at altitudes exceeding 4,000 metres above sea level. The high plateau, or altiplano, has an extreme climate characterized by periods of drought and intense frost. Quinoa is one of the rare crops that manages to thrive in conditions as adverse as these. Sabina, like many of the other members of the Aymara community in Oruro in Bolivia, produces royal quinoa.
Florence Goupil – PERU “Sara, the Spirit of Maize” is a photo documentary series about the Peruvian native corn, known as maize, and its connection with the Quechua elders of the Sacred Valley in Cusco, Peru. The figure of maize is essential for understanding the universe of the children of the altiplano, their relationship with the earth and their identity. Each species and all the sizes, colours and forms of the ear are related to a story, a meaning, a specific use and a curative property.
Carlos Pozo Albán – ARGENTINA Alicia has spent all of her life in the Argentine countryside, where she owns a field in which she grows crops and raises livestock. In Argentina, over 174 million hectares of land are used for agriculture, accounting for 7% of the country’s GDP. The presence of women in the countryside has become a major challenge within a context of economic migration from rural areas to the city and the increasing use of agricultural machinery and technology.
Nahún Rodríguez – HONDURAS In Honduras, it is women who grow the crop, meticulously plucking leaves as the plants mature. Tobacco plants can grow to be between 90 and 180 cm tall. It takes more hours of work to grow tobacco than any other crop, requiring an average of 2,200 hours per hectare.
Neto Segovia – EL SALVADOR Coffee is grown on approximately 165,000 hectares of land in El Salvador. The boom began in the 1840s, when coffee production became the domestic economy’s dominant sector. Coffee plantations currently provide 72,200 jobs and the sector serves as the economic mainstay both for the country and for many Salvadoran women. While El Salvador’s fertile soil produces the Bourbon, Pacas and Pacamara varieties, most of its production is destined for the international markets.
Lindsay Lauckner – MEXICO Women take care of almost everything, from the agave fields to the cooking and fermentation processes. Cutting agave clearly takes significant physical e ort. “Most men could do this faster. But it’s not something that women can’t do. It just takes a little more time”.
Estefanía Cubillos – CHILE “Women of the sea” comprises a series of images captured at Caleta Portales in Chile’s main port city of Valparaíso. Fishing is a key source of income for people living along the Chilean coastline, which extends for over 4,000 km.
Uriel Montúfar – PERU The Salineras de Maras, or “Kachi Raqa” in Quechua, are salt mines in the region of Cuzco that have been in operation since the time of “Tahuantinsuyo” (the Inca Empire). Each parcel belongs to a family and is passed down from generation to generation, but the mines are operated communally. The salt trade is the primary source of income for the community of Maras. The mines are divided into 3,000 5m2 pits and form terraces or platforms on Qaqawiñay Mountain.
Raúl Rafael – PERU Felicita lives in Chinchero, Cuzco’s most important district for traditional Peruvian yarn-spinning and weaving. She takes care of her animals in the morning and, in the a ernoon, makes yarn by passing sheep’s wool between her fingers and using a wooden wheel to make it finer. The yarn is then dyed using plants, roots and parasites such as the cochineal so that designs can be created on the skirts, hats and other accessories that will be sold in the city of Cuzco.
Lindsay Lauckner – MEXICO Raza Azteca currently produces 100% tequila for three of its own brands – El Conde Azul, Espectacular and Leyenda de México – as well as for other companies such as La Gritona, Sino Tequila and La Quiere.
Estefanía Cubillos – CHILE For the women of the sea, the working day begins every morning at 4:30 a.m. While some of them are engaged in cleaning, fileting and selling the fish, others very patiently spend their time disentangling fishing lines and nets.
Tadeu Vilani – BRAZIL Rosimeri Aguiar is a descendant of the “quilombolas”, a community of mostly escaped slaves from mines and plantations who occupied territory in the Brazilian hinterland in the 19th century. She is one of the few women who are engaged in shrimp fishing in the Lagoa de Peixe National Park on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The fishing season starts in the beginning of January and spans until the end of April. During this period, Rosemeri fishes almost every day.
Florence Leyret – MEXICO María Elvia Silva Bartolo is head of the Colectivo Cuanari, a cooperative whose name means “morning stars” in the Purépecha language. This Purépecha women’s cooperative makes smooth-finished pottery and hand-embroidered blouses, which it sells directly to Mexicans and foreigners at cra fairs. Its products are also marketed through resellers throughout Mexico and abroad.
Ana Huerta – PERU Peru currently exports goldenberries to more than 35 countries.
Orlando Azevêdo – BRAZIL In rural Bahia, female workers, warrior-like, display great fortitude as they work with sisal threads and we s in a timeless process, the results of which are o en destined for export. In the arduous process of selection and shredding, persistence and dogged determination is key. Ropes, with roots in a past empire, are woven in this way into history and collective memory.
Lindsay Lauckner – MEXICO Melly Barajas Cárdenas, the ‘Queen of Tequila’, has built a distillery business with a workforce made up almost entirely of women. Raza Azteca was the first distillery that Barajas opened in the state of Jalisco. Being a woman in the tequila industry means a lot of hard work. “It’s a male-dominated world. When I started, people would say to me, ‘A woman in this industry? You won’t make it’”.
Nahún Rodríguez – HONDURAS From 2006 to 2011, tobacco exports totalled almost US$754.3 million and provided direct or indirect employment for thousands of Honduran women.
Carla Borja – CHILE Chile is one of the world’s top ten wine-producing countries, having bottled 9.5 million hectolitres in 2017. Wine is an important part of Chilean culture, and also ranks 16th in terms of the country’s exports. For a long time, however, wine-making has been the province of men, and any attempt by women to play a part in it remains a challenge, not least because their domestic responsibilities limit their opportunities to dedicate themselves to oenology.
Nahún Rodríguez – HONDURAS We do not know exactly for how many hundreds of years the Maya consumed tobacco, but it is likely that the indigenous peoples of Central America had been rolling tobacco leaves long before Columbus was born. The tobacco plant is native to the Americas and, like potatoes, corn and chocolate, was destined to spread around the world.
Florence Goupil – PERU Ears can have as many as 42 grains, each 2 cm in diameter. The species is known as giant white maize and, for the women, it is an expression of the earth itself. While a male figure, sometimes with dual sexuality, is used to represent maize in Mexico, in Peru maize is a woman. Her name is Sara, the spirit of maize.
Tui Anandi – BRAZIL For the indigenous women of the Amazon, artistic creation is a key factor in the transmission of culture. This documentary photography was produced by Xapiri, an ethnic art gallery located in Cuzco, Peru. The Matsés people inhabit the Javari Valley, on the border between Brazil and Peru, which is located in one of the world’s remotest tropical rainforests.
Ana Huerta – PERU The demand for goldenberries has increased 85% since 2016. The national programme “Perú Berries” has taken on the task of providing advisory services to small producers like Feliciana Asencios so that they can meet the standards required in the global market.
Allison Malpartida – PERU Junkla Rojas Garrido’s story is an illustration of this. She is one of the few female members of Nomara, an association of organic banana producers located in the province of Paita in the region of Piura. She is not only a mother and grandmother, but also the owner of a banana plantation that supplies the international market with produce meeting high standards, such as those required for the Fair Trade label.
Anna Caroline de Lima – BRAZIL Maura fingers the cocoa trees in a small plantation where she works, in Bahia, Brazil. Cocoa arrived in Bahia in 1746 when a French settler sent seeds to a Portuguese farmer, who introduced them to his plantation in what is now the municipality of Canavieiras. The plants adapted well to the local climate and cocoa plantations spread throughout the region during the 19th century, with exports increasing in line with the demand for chocolate in Europe and the U.S.
Anna Caroline de Lima – ECUADOR When the first rays of sunlight appear at the window, before even preparing breakfast for her family, María Dolores goes outside her house, at La Quebrada, Northern Ecuador, to burn some dry twigs to produce smoke. This is a traditional practice that helps to prevent crops from being harmed by frost. “My grandmother taught me how do to it. You have to know which way the wind is blowing and must do it early in the morning”.
Tui Anandi – BRAZIL Despite their remoteness, fair trade enables these isolated communities to earn sustainable incomes. Xapiri has been developing long-term relationships with artisans from the Javari Valley region. Today, more than 80 cra swomen, as partners in the project, are working to preserve the Amazon culture through the fair trading of their native art.
Allison Malpartida – PERU Peru is one of the top ten exporters of organic bananas and accounts for 3% of worldwide production. In the banana industry, it is mainly men who are involved in production operations. In recent years, however, the gender gap has been closing. Women’s role in agricultural work is growing and their presence is no longer limited to packing stations.
Florence Goupil – PERU eremonies and even predictions of future harvests centre around ears of Andean maize. The native species has managed to survive the era of the Spanish conquest and the introduction of genetically modified seeds. The seed is native to Peru, and each year local women improve it naturally through a selection of grains based on a Pre-Colombian method.
Ana Mendes – BRAZIL The juçara fruit (also known as açai) is a staple food for the indigenous peoples and traditional communities in the North- eastern part of the Brazilian Amazon. Juçara is harvested by women from the local communities using traditional methods, and owing to the proximity to the sea, is o en eaten with fish or shrimps, but may also be eaten with meat and cassava flour.
Haniel López – GUATEMALA “Between roses” is a documentary photo about the production of roses in Guatemala. Guatemala annually generates US$ 116 million for sales of roses abroad. In the production of roses, the cultivation requires skilled labour and delicate care, from its cultivation to its packaging. Currently, women of di erent age groups make up 80% of the sector. The sale of roses is boosted by the annual celebration of Valentine’s Day, on February 14.
Sofia Bensadon – BOLIVIA In the cities of La Paz and El Alto, baked brick is the basic unit of construction. It is manufactured by hand in the Llojeta neighbourhood, where some fifty female brickworkers work. Within the production chain, the women are primarily responsible for the task of mixing the clay and water, for which they use their feet and shovels.
Ana Huerta – PERU In Huari, a town in the Peruvian region of Ancash, the soil yields good harvests of “aguaymanto” (Physalis peruviana) or, as it is known around the world, “goldenberry”.