Read the science behind the photographs

Women attend to work related to the feeding and health of all members of the family including the education of the children. They contribute to meeting other needs of the family, such as embroidering clothes for adults and children, especially the colourful hipiles. They may also prepare food to sell along with flowers and fruit in the markets, make hammocks and work as domestics in the homes of others. Their earnings go to support the wellbeing of the whole family.

The participation of women in community life is very important. They maintain networks of relationships that are instrumental in improving health, food practices, education, religion and community cohesion.

Some Maya are engaged in agricultural work where the use of pesticides is widespread. Lack of protection against the exposure to pesticides may cause skin allergies, respiratory illness, fertility problems and an increased likelihood of certain cancers. Even those women who are not working in agriculture are at risk when washing the clothes that their husbands wear for work.