Photo Essays: BITTERSWEET: Dying in the Nicaraguan Sugar Fields
Sugar is crtical to the economy of Nicaragua, the second poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Working in a sugar cane field or refinery are the only employment opportunities for many Nicaraguans. There is an alarmingly high incidence of chronic renal insufficiency and chronic kidney disease among people who work in or live near these fields. Some physicians feel that this is because of the high exposure to pesticides used on the sugar cane. All of those photographed here have been touched by kidney disease. They are either sick, have family members that are ill, or have lost a loved one to the disease.