In a culture burdened by inequality and poverty, women often have few resources to support themselves and their families. By paying fair wages in an area with little formal employment, the Madres program empowers mothers to invest in their future and the future of their families. Both Dominican and Haitian women are employed, building solidarity between two cultures that have endured centuries of mistrust stemming from colonial legacies and competition for scarce resources on an impoverished island. By providing sustainable incomes making jewelry, Madres is fostering enduring change in Los Pinos.
I chose to collaborate as a photographer with Madres (of Una Vida) after living in a poor, rural area of the Dominican Republic for two years where I worked and lived with marginalized women. I understand the potential that these women have to create strong foundations in their communities and acknowledge that they are many times overlooked.
This collaboration has a had a profound effect on me as it has enabled me to continue my connection to the women of the DR and Haiti by giving these women a face, a story, and an opportunity for a better future.