Seaweed Collectors
Project info

I've started this series in 2010 in Ancud (Chiloé Island, Chile) where I was born in 1969 and where I lived until 1998 when I moved to Switzerland.

Juan Barría and Ricardo Villegas are my neighbors. They've been working as seaweed “Luga” collectors since their childhood, always accompanied by their dogs.

The sea is the only source of life of most of the people in Chiloé. Juan and Ricardo wear self made diving suits to be able to stay longer in the cold water, especially in winter. Their dogs enjoy these moments and play in the water next to their owners.

Juan told me: “The Japanese and Europeans use our Luga in medicinal products, cosmetics and food that we later buy in local supermarkets.”

I've made the last photos of this series in February 2016 in Chile. The family photo was given to me by Juan. It belongs to his story, when as a child he worked with his brother and his parents recollecting seaweed.