Ana Marí­a Buitrón

Freelance photographer & journalist | founder of @everydayecuador
Seed Guardians
Location: Quito, Ecuador
Nationality: Ecuador
Biography: Ana María Buitrón is a freelance photojournalist born in Quito, Ecuador. Her work uses photography to witness social problems and encourage people –silenced by countless reasons– to raise their voices. She delves into... MORE
Public Story
Seed Guardians
Copyright Ana María Buitrón 2024
Date of Work Aug 2019 - Ongoing
Updated Oct 2020
Topics Documentary, Family, Food, Gender, Photography, Travel
Ecuador was declared free from transgenic crops and seeds in 2008 and it is the only country in Latin America that bans them in its constitution. Industrialized transgenic crops (cotton, rice, soybeans, corn, canola) jeopardize biodiversity, food safety, and human and animal health. Seed guardians are the ones responsible for safeguarding and reproducing ancestral seeds.

From my research the most successful seed safeguarding projects are women-led. Rural female guardians base their work on ancient knowledge, neo-rural female guardians base theirs on scientific information. They generously trade knowledge and build up a powerful regional network. There are networks of female guardians with over 3000 seed varieties.

Getting to know the everyday lives of these women through photographs carries us to a parallel universe where time passes differently from what we know, where land and traditions reign, where their seeds are considered family treasure, sustenance and currency that save us from the danger of some genetic experiments.

*As a photojournalist, I am very interested in all life stories in which women are responsible for taking care of mother earth, food and climate change adaptation processes
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