Dominga Lukas Castro

"When I was a teenager and studying to become a teacher I got pregnant and dropped out of school. At the time I thought my work and the rest of my life would be in the house and in the kitchen. But after participating in some community women's groups and raising three children with my husband, I decided to become a health promoter so I could earn my own money and go back to school. I earned Q300 which was enough to pay for my school materials and my uniform. I only had one uniform for all three years I was in school. I had to borrow money from my family so that I could buy the clothing I needed for my graduation. But I kept pushing myself toward my goals. It was hard but I just kept going. While raising 5 children, I became a teacher and now I am the Director of the School." - Dominga Lukas Castro is an educator and business owner in Huitan, Guatemala. She also gives literacy classes to her mother-in-law (yesterday's EVE) and older women in her community.

note: This project is dedicated to Dominga and you can read a longer version of her story on It is the very first story published.


Juan Diaz Velasquez

"As a child I only attended school for two years. Back then the thought was, "Why send a girl to school when she only is going to wind up in the kitchen?" When I was 25 years old the Catholic Nuns came to my village and taught me the value of being a woman. The priest told us that men and women are equal. He said the only ones who say women aren't equal to men are men. The priest built the Colegio Asuncion here in Huitan so that the indigenous people here (the Mams) would be educated. All of my 10 children attended that school and 9 of them went on to become teachers. Now, I go to school every afternoon. My daughter-in-law, who is the director of the elementary school here, teaches a class for older women like me who didn't have the opportunity to go to school when we were young." - Dona Juana Diaz Velasquez lives in El Plan, Huitan, Guatemala and has been a community leader for many decades.

Diana Zeynab Alhindawi

"I like to tell intimate stories in conflict areas, so the subjects of my stories are usually at risk in some way. They trust me and I think they open up so much easier because I am a woman. I don't think my work would have happened as quickly if I were a man. But recently I was on an assignment for an NGO in a very remote area of Northern Congo. There were some nomadic people in the area, very interesting and especially photogenic but they were in an area especially hard to get to. Because I am a woman, the NGO would not provide transportation b/c they said if the LRA attacked the region they would rape me. But there had been no LRA presence in that region because there are no elephants there and the LRA mostly attack while looking for elephants and ivory. I have experience in the Congo and I knew what the potential risks were and was willing to take them but the NGO would not budge and it was too expensive for me to hire private transportation to get there on my own. However when a male colleague showed up who had less experience in the region they offered him the opportunity to go up to the region with the nomadic people. The thing is, if the LRA caught men, they could be killed. The male photographer was allowed the choice to take the risk or not, but I wasn't. This is one of the reasons why there is so little work coming from women in these areas. It's not that we can't endure the hardships. It's that our opportunities are blocked..." Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi is a photojournalist who uses photography to explore the human condition across a variety of political and cultural contexts."