The Human Cost of Sugar Harvesting

Sugarcane harvesters in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, have a life expectancy of only 46 years, with many of them dying from chronic kidney disease. Experts think they may have figured out why the workers are being afflicted at such an alarming rate. But the plantation owners have their own ideas about the root cause. Regardless of who's right, the toll on the community has been grief and heartbreak for those suffering from the disease and for their families. 

For more, read a Q&A with photographer and filmmaker Ed Kashi: Can Sugarcane Workers Be Saved With Simple Water and Shade

And more from Ed Kashi in this National Geographic Proof blog post.