Hiroko Tanaka

Rodrigo's Case
Location: Japan (currently)
Nationality: japanese
Biography: Hiroko Tanaka is a Japanese freelance photographer currently based in between Central America (mostly Guatemala) and Japan.  Her primary focus is on social issues, human rights and lives in unprivileged circumstances. Her work includes acid... read on

In Guatemala, too often death comes with a huge financial burden for families who are left to deal not only with a hard time of losing a loved one but also with a huge debt for the wake and funeral in addition to their lack of daily necessities.

After 7 years of suffering from diabetes without access to adequate treatment and nutrition, a 49 years old father of five children Rodrigo passed away in his small home in San Jorge La Laguna, Sololá, Guatemala in the morning of July 26th 2012. In his latest months, Rodrigo, who chose not to return to the public hospital where he had been in and out frequently without any progress and an access to adequate care. In Guatemala, public hospital where all services are free means too often no access to adequate care and attention. However he decided not to seek further treatment at private hospital to save his family from financial burden that comes for his recovery, and his family respected his decision. Rodrigo’s family is poor and has been struggled to secure daily necessities. Rodrigo’s last will was to find help for family for after he was gone.

Indigenous community in Guatemala faces severe poverty and not only access to necessary health care but also death is major financial for family. Rodrigo’s family is not an exception. They now face to a huge debt for cost for wake and funeral in addition to the lack of daily necessities.


Also by Hiroko Tanaka —


japan blues

By Hiroko Tanaka — japan blues.  images of something ordinary seen in around tokyo, japan.

Train Time in Japan.

By Hiroko Tanaka

Acid Violence Survivors

By Hiroko Tanaka — Acid throwing is a form of violent assault that scar survivors physically, physical disabilities,..

Child poverty in Cambodia

By Hiroko Tanaka — Still struggling to rebuilt itself after the civil war, Cambodia remains the poorest county. Nearly 34 % of..

Semana Santa:Antigua,Guatemala

By Hiroko Tanaka / Antigua, Sacatepequez, Guatemala — Antigua, Guatemala is known for its vibrant religious festival during Semana Santa (Holy Week) religious..

Beaches will be Beaches

By Hiroko Tanaka — Series of images of beaches based on the concept that every beach has different character, but it seems the..

window seat

By Hiroko Tanaka — Series of photographs taken from window seat on airplane

Cambodian Motorcycle Riders

By Hiroko Tanaka — A set of photographs of motorcycle riders in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Motorcycle is main source of..

Children of Agent Orange

By Hiroko Tanaka — Peace Village ward at Tu Du Hospital is home for surviving child victims of Agent Orange, a controversial..

Welcome to my house

By Hiroko Tanaka / Guatemala — Poverty plagues the indigenous in Guatemala with a low level of living condition. Many live in one-room..

Meet Cristobalina

By Hiroko Tanaka / Guatemala — At her 17 th birthday party at her house in a remote small village outside of Panajachel, Guatemala in June..
Join us
For more access