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  • karenleehall

Generations of Men

Don Bonifacio is a friend from San Juan, the town ext to ours. He’s 95 and still gets around by horse. This past Wednesday was the anniversary of the annexation of Guanacaste to Costa Rica in 1874. Before that it was an independent state, and Nicoya was the capital. So we three went to Nicoya to partake of the celebrations.

In this series of photos I’m missing a generation of men. The 30 – 50 year old. The men between then and now. They are dads, of course. They support their families, likely they drink, they are manly in that they believe in the clear roles of the sexes and they think the younger generation isn’t terribly hardworking. But I think perhaps this is not their era. Their fathers have no doubts. Their children don’t really buy their stories of the old days and wear their hair in fauxhawks and would prefer to work at a computer than in the fields.

Don Bonifacio told us a story about when he was young and the men all worked herding. They would swim across the rivers with their cattle to get them to the other side. They would sleep in the open with them, and they wouldn’t think twice about working very very hard.

I still see men working exceptionally physically hard here. They dig holes, they break rocks, they mix concrete by hand and they do it all in the killer heat. It’s all a matter of perspective I guess as to what constitutes hard work.

Originally published August 1, 2012

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