ISLA ASIA, CAÑETE, PERU - 13 NOVEMBER 2017: A group of workers from Guano bathe in the sea after finishing their work at Isla Asia. Isla Asia is one of the twenty guano islands of Peru.
The 'campañeros' cover their entire body when they work so as not to breathe the dust that arises when they scrape the guano from the rocks and avoid the excrements that fall from the sky. At the end of the day, the guano ends up adhering to the skin. The bath in the sea becomes one of the best times of the day.
The boom of organic farming has brought Guano back to its splendor. Considered the best organic fertilizer in the world, guano made up of the droppings of guano birds - pelicans, pikemen, cormorants, guanayes, penguins, tendrils - has been a treasure of Peru since the time of the Inca culture. His method of extraction has not changed since then and every year thousands of people from the poorest regions of Peru come to the call of guano to work tirelessly for eight months in semi-slave regime in the harvesting campaign of Guano.
This photograph was taken during the five days (the period from November 13 to November 17) in which I obtained the pertinent official authorizations to be able to enter and work in Asia Island.
During that five-day period I lived 24 hours a day photographing the daily life of the "campañeros" during their daily routine. It was five months of preproduction to get access to the island. The obstacles and difficulties that were experienced during the preproduction period of this work respond to the interest of the government of Peru in hiding the conditions of work in semi-slavery regime to which they are forced to accept the poorest social sectors of the country for the economic needs they suffer. An endemic problem that unfortunately not only exists in Peru, but also exists throughout the Latin American continent. The company responsible for the exploitation and commercialization of Guano in Peru is a state company directly controlled by the state.