Dear friends:
For the Museum of Women in Costa Rica is an honor to present the online exhibition “Women Ngöbe” by the photographer Marco Chia that you can visit in our website:
His photo essay documents the struggle of women to maintain their culture, traditions end natural medicine practiced by their ancestors. Marco explains: “The photographs were taken in the territories Ngöbe Buglé in the company of the staff COECO-Ceiba, Friends of the Earth, Costa Rica. The partnership between the environmentalists and Ngöbes was made for more than 12 years. This work has been paid in the friendly relationship between them and has encouraged the organization that indigenous people have achieved in recent years. Needless to say, the indigenous struggle has managed to organize autonomously in a gradual process of empowerment from the “meeting of cultures” to the indigenous struggles in the end of the twentieth century. An important step in the Ngöbe Buglé cultures was the creation of Cultural Association Ngöbegue, organization that has promoted the most important causes of this town since its inception in 1990.
These pictures were made in four tours we did in the territories in which we met in indigenous assemblies for detailing the problems that are affecting communities, as clearly are losing their forests at the hands of inescrupulous loggers, lack of water, polluting the expansion of monocultures (pineapple and palmoil), the dispossession of their territories (including many with outbreaks aquifers) and the inability to control their own people, customs and territories as their laws are below the laws of the Republic. As a result of information gathering process Ngöbegue COECO-Ceiba there have been several publications to disclose environmental and social processes in which its members are involved. The writer of these lines was honored to participate in these processes since 2006 with the aim of collaborating with the publications of COECO-Ceiba since then to date, are seven (three of purely indigenous issue) and is about to leave eight publication. My involvement has been primarily at the level of illustrator, photographer and layout designer, but the horizontal nature of these people has allowed the criteria regarding form and content to move freely during editing.”
Claudia Mandel Katz
Museum of Women
Costa Rica
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Twitter: @MuseoMujeres

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