July 2014—Maria Paula Santamaría died for reasons that were entirely preventable. When she needed urgent medical attention, she was turned away from a hospital in her hometown of Cali, Colombia, because she was transgender or “trans.” Santamaría was assigned male at birth, but identified as a woman.
July 2014—Colombia has seen many gains in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights in recent years. Although these gains have been developing quickly, there is still a long way to go, especially for the transgender community.
In the Northern Ecuadorian provinces of Imbabura and Carchi, many rural families make a living from dairy farming. For years, these small farmers, each of whom has no more than 20 cows, could not directly access markets to sell milk at fair prices. Instead, they sold through intermediaries who set the prices, kept a portion of the profi ts, and often failed to pay on time. The hard work of the small producers was not reflected in their incomes, and they could not improve their living conditions.
The mountain municipality of Cajibío, in Colombia’s Cauca region, covers roughly the same area as Los Angeles, California. Most of Cajibío’s 34,000 residents live in rural areas, such as the village of Ortega, long known for violence and insecurity associated with narcotraffickers, paramilitaries, and guerillas.
A group of Afro-Colombian women have made a little imagination go a long way. By turning an everyday object into a thing of beauty, they found a market that no one knew existed.
Last updated: August 25, 2014