MQC Photo Costa Rica

Women of the Shantytown

This photo essay was developed during the workshop with Magnum photographer Antoine D’Agata in September 2009. I had photographed this woman many times before, but this particular week I was challenged to go deep into my soul to find the reason why I wanted to tell their story.

“Poor women are anywhere, it is something very much seen and known,” I wrote on my notebook. And that is the truth. I had to show more than that, I could not focus on how does a poor women looks like, but what it might feel like to bee poor. I realized that the feeling is what the non poor people can not understand.

But in the process, I discovered that their emotions and feelings are those of any woman, poor or not. As I heard them talk and follow them around I could see myself as them, I could see the women of my family in them, I could see my female friends. In the end we all share the same emotions, worries, fears, and desires.

Juana

Juana, her children and nothing more.

Juana

She has two boys. But looks after many more.

Juana

“My big preoccupation, I tell you, are my children. I don't want to dye and say my children where left along. Because been with me they might suffer but they have my warmth.”

Juana

“My big preoccupation, I tell you, are my children. I don't want to dye and say my children where left along. Because been with me they might suffer but they have my warmth.”

Juana

“My big preoccupation, I tell you, are my children. I don't want to dye and say my children where left along. Because been with me they might suffer but they have my warmth.”

Lizeth

Lizeth, lost by daily life.

Lizeth

She has three kids and no men to help her.

Lizeth

“For me, pay day is really hard, because, one can not enjoy it, I don't enjoy it at all, because, lets say, one can not even see it, not even smell it, because just right there you have to go pay this, the grocery store, the...,”

Lizeth

“For me, pay day is really hard, because, one can not enjoy it, I don't enjoy it at all, because, lets say, one can not even see it, not even smell it, because just right there you have to go pay this, the grocery store, the...,”

Lizeth

“For me, pay day is really hard, because, one can not enjoy it, I don't enjoy it at all, because, lets say, one can not even see it, not even smell it, because just right there you have to go pay this, the grocery store, the...,”

Lucy

Lucy, she used to be a problem, now she wants to carry solutions.

Lucy

She has big boys, small children, grandchildren to look after.

Lucy

“A fighter woman, an enterprising woman, a hard worker women, very strong and brave, because I am not afraid.”

Lucy

“A fighter woman, an enterprising woman, a hard worker women, very strong and brave, because I am not afraid.”

Lucy

“A fighter woman, an enterprising woman, a hard worker women, very strong and brave, because I am not afraid.”

Lucila

Lucila, hanging on to her faith and trying to ignore her tiredness.

Lucila

She takes care of two grandchildren that were left to her when they were just babies.

Lucila

“That I have been a long-suffering woman, and I am still suffering, but I keep pushing ahead.”

Lucila

“That I have been a long-suffering woman, and I am still suffering, but I keep pushing ahead.”

Lucila

“That I have been a long-suffering woman, and I am still suffering, but I keep pushing ahead.”