Golden Age at Work
These photos are part of a ongoing series that I am doing on the members of the older generation of people in our communities. On my travels to different countries mostly third world countries there has been a recurring theme of the members of the older generation which I have found very interesting to document. The members of the older generation in our society mostly find themselves in retirement homes, however out of necessity the older generation in these third world countries need to continue to work either for the family business, their own business, or other forms of work to survive. I started to document the members of this community which I call the Golden Age as a way to give them value (for at least me) for their work.
This is Don Eloy is an 82 old man and the most iconic man of the Hacienda Iguana area in Nicaragua. Don Eloy has spent the last 20 plus years in Hacienda Iguana property acting as the “cuidador” guard. The Hacienda Iguana area was originally a farm and was owned by a young entrepreneur Jamie Wilok. Jamie hired Don Eloy to be the guard his farm after meeting him in his home town of Belen, Nicaragua. The farm was really large by Nicaraguan standards and it was Don Eloy’s job to watch over everything and he did so up until the 2001. The young entrepreneur Jamie Wilok and Neils Edinburg than invested in developing the land to accommodate surfers and traveling families. The property has the most popular surf break on it in Nicaragua, Playa Colorado. This changed the land and left Don Eloy without a job but he is still taken care of by Jamie because of the relationship which was formed over the years between the two. You can now see Don Eloy farming the land everyday in the Hacienda Iguana property and he his pleasure to all. I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time with him one day these are the images.
This is Ann Maria. She is a 79 old women who lives in Las Salinas area of Nicaragua and has never left the area. One of the most amazing experiences for me was that she has never had her picture taken and I was giving the honor of taken her first photo. Image that from a westerners point of view, living all most of full life time and never having your picture taken. Some cultures fear photos being taken of them stating that image can steal a part of your soul. I have always felt the process and the connection that is created for that moment the when the image is captured between the subject and photographer creates a soul in itself not steals one. Ann Maria is a local chicken farmer and she raises the chickens for eggs and for sale. She is an incredibly hard working lady and a tough book to crack.
This Felicano Borges. The Nicaraguan Revolution encompassed the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, the campaign led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front which led to the violent ousting of that dictatorship in 1979, and the subsequent efforts of the Sandinista which governed from 1979 until 1990, to reform the society and economy of the country along socialist lines. The revolution played a substantial role in foreign policy for Nicaragua, Central America and the Americas. The concurrent Nicaraguan Civil War, waged between the FSLN and the Contras in which Feliciano Borges was captured by the Contras and enprisioned until the end of the Cold Wars in 1990. Feliciano family was killed during the war and he currently lives with a family that excepted him as family. He is 88 years and you can find him making rosquillas for the family bussiness everyday in Rivas, Nicaragua
This is Juono Cortez. He is a 78 year old man who lives in Las Salinas, Nicaragua and has his whole life like most in the area. Juono Cortez raises chickens for “peleas de gallo” (chicken fights) a gruesome thing in my opinion but a profitable venture in parts of the world like this one. Having grown up working on a small farm his whole life he found himself at ease raising chickens and is very proud of them all. He works hard everyday tending to all the chickens “gallo” needs.
This is Natividad Ruiz. He is a 78 old man who lives in Tola, Nicaragua and has his whole life. I spent 4 hours with Natividad one day and was able to join him on his daily duties. His job is to take his oxen cart around the grounds of Hacienda Iguana and collect all the debris which get tossed around all day from the trees because of the heavy winds in the area. He has done this job for the last 8 years and is proud of his work and his oxen, which he talks to all day. He has never left Nicaragua and has no plans to. He was a pleasure to be around and I took him copies of some of my favorite images of him. Hope you enjoy his story and the images.