“During the Civil War, when I was 15 years old, I escaped with my parents into the mountains. We didn’t have a house, we lived under a tarp for eight years. We planted corn and beans to survive, but we had no salt, we had nothing. When I was 19 years old and pregnant the army threw a grenade near me, and rocks flew and hit my head and I still have a scar. I was pregnant at the time. My brother was killed. After the war, we settled in Chel and we had to start over again with nothing. My husband left for the United States in January to look for work. He found part time work and hopes to find more work and not get deported.” – Maria Raymundo Cruz lives in Chel, Guatemala and participates in The Coffee Trust food sovereignty program. In this photo she is pictured throwing worms to her chickens. Providing the chickens a source of protein will keep the chickens stronger and healthier.
“I am enjoy my life. I am a mother, grandmother and in charge of taking care of the house. I have my animals and I enjoy all the blessings that God has given me. I am content and I feel happy to be living my life here in Xacana.” – Graciela Cabrera lives in Xacana, Guatemala.
“I like to tell intimate stories in conflict areas, so the subjects of my stories are usually at risk in some way. They trust me and I think they open up so much easier because I am a woman. I don’t think my work would have happened as quickly if I were a man. But recently I was on an assignment for an NGO in a very remote area of Northern Congo. There were some nomadic people in the area, very interesting and especially photogenic but they were in an area especially hard to get to. Because I am a woman, the NGO would not provide transportation b/c they said if the LRA attacked the region they would rape me. But there had been no LRA presence in that region because there are no elephants there and the LRA mostly attack while looking for elephants and ivory. I have experience in the Congo and I knew what the potential risks were and was willing to take them but the NGO would not budge and it was too expensive for me to hire private transportation to get there on my own. However when a male colleague showed up who had less experience in the region they offered him the opportunity to go up to the region with the nomadic people. The thing is, if the LRA caught men, they could be killed. The male photographer was allowed the choice to take the risk or not, but I wasn’t. This is one of the reasons why there is so little work coming from women in these areas. It’s not that we can’t endure the hardships. It’s that our opportunities are blocked…” Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi is a photojournalist who uses photography to explore the human condition across a variety of political and cultural contexts.”