Los Pinos

30 images Created 30 Sep 2011

In a country revered for its pristine beaches and exotic jungles the population living in the slums of Costa Rica are often forgotten, or worse, ignored. Located in out of the way places, the slums are not equipped with proper sewage, most homes lack electricity and even sturdy roofs that can keep the out continual rains. Schools are sub standard and run in three shifts and even medical care is hard to find. Because a large percentage of the inhabitants are undocumented workers from Nicaragua, finding work to build a better life for their families is difficult. They are surrounded by a world without many options.

In a place where the son inherits the sins of the father, the stigma of family history is hard to escape. It is easy for children to follow in their parents footsteps. After all, the world is expecting them to fail. This series follows a group of youth who are growing up in Los Tejarcillos, a place filled with violence and poverty. At a young age these children are presented with choices that will inevitably dictate their lives. Should they continue with school? Or maybe continue using homemade weapons to assault girls outside the school? Perhaps try sniffing glue or other drugs as their brothers have done? Or steal? Why not, it's an easy way to get money. For the girls, it's easier to have a baby and show the world how desirable they are. And, besides, their sisters already have babies, so what is the big deal?

The goal of this project is to not only show the shared difficulties of growing up in a place such as this, but to focus on each child's experience and the unique way they see their world.

Kevin acts tough to protect him from the streets, but under the bravado is a boy looking for direction. Meanwhile, his younger brother puts on the face of a sweet young boy to cover his aggression. Angie is caught between being a woman and a girl. Israel is a shy boy who is starting to come into his own.

These are their stories.
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