In Frontiers, Chile-based photographer Raul Charlin documents some of the many Peruvian women who have emigrated to Chile to work as caregivers and domestic workers. He constructs two portraits of each woman; the first positions her in relation to her employer’s family, while the second finds her alone, accompanied by a snapshot of the relatives she has left in Peru. For these women, Charlin explains, caring for the children and elderly members of their employers’ families is a means of providing for their own.
Charlin reports that the last decades have seen large numbers of Peruvian immigrants in Chile, and many wind up seeking careers as nannies and cleaning women, hoping someday to bring their families across the border to join them. The photographer met his subjects through a network of friends, first reaching out to Chilean family members and acquaintances and then approaching the women in their employ.
With each woman, he conducted an interview through which he gained insight into their experience away from their original homes. Although modern technology allows them to communicate with faraway relatives on a daily basis, most see their families only once every year or two. Sustaining their families across the border comes at great personal cost, and some relayed stories of previous employers who had taken advantage of their sensitive situations.
Most of the women photographed, he explains, were content with their current jobs, and some had become integral members of their employers’ families, helping to raise the children and nurse the elderly. All the while, they hold close to the aspiration of reuniting with their families in Chile.
For more, visit Charlin’s website.
All images © Raul Charlin