Think of Erin Brockovich, but instead of Julia Roberts fighting California law in a tight skirt and heels, imagine multiple families and farm workers in Nicaragua. Two years ago, Annie Wells, a 1997 Pulitzer Prize winner and photojournalist for the Los Angles Times, investigated and documented a story in Posoltega, Nicaragua about people whose health has been negatively affected supposedly by the pesticide used to grow bananas, DBCP. This past Monday, October 25, 2010 a crowd including photographers, journalists and Middle School Spanish students brought their lunches into the Collins Room to listen to Wells tell the moving stories of workers affected by the pesticide. Wells shared her insights on the journalistic and photographic aspects of her project and shone some light on the difficult problems banana farm workers in parts of Nicaragua face.
I enjoyed seeing Wells in the Collins Room rather than at an all-school meeting; the smaller and more intimate talk seemed to be a better fit for this riveting story. Most students that attended wanted to be there. Those of you that couldn’t go should still seek out more information about these banana workers, because their stories could be what inspires you to make a difference.