Hiroko Tanaka

Photographer
  
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.

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