January 28, 2014

NYTimes Lens Blog Features Ed Kashi's Sugarcane Project

A busy coffin maker in Chichigalpa; nearly every day,
a sugarcane workers dies in the CKDu epidemic.
©Ed Kashi/VIIPhoto
With the support of the La Isla Foundation, photojournalist (and TEM co-founder) Ed Kashi made two trips to Nicaragua in 2013 to investigate and document the mysterious circumstances surrounding the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin (CKDu).  The disease is sickening and killing thousands of sugarcane workers in Central America, and is a global issue with a presence in southern Mexico, Ecuador,  Sri Lanka, India, and other tropical and subtropical countries.

In the Nicaraguan town of Chichigalpa, often called the "Island of Widows," nearly 1-in-3 men, mostly cane workers, are in end-stage renal failure. Their average lifespan is 49 years.

Today, The New York Times' Lens Blog spotlights Ed's work in Nicaragua. Click this link to view the Lens Blog article and more of Ed's images.

Ed is currently raising money in order to return to Nicaragua and continue documenting those affected by kidney disease.  His hope is for his work to be used by schools, nongovernmental organizations, and the local community to raise awareness about the issue and spur dialogue and solution.

Click below to learn more about Ed's campaign and to donate:

A 29-year-old worker of CKDu.
©Ed Kashi/VIIPhoto