Liz

WOMEN keep the land in their hearts in Paraguay

Liz Benítez

“The school is very far, and I had to go there on my own. It scared me! I love learning but it’s just not possible at the moment.”

“There have been many instances where I have been mistreated. It really makes me sad. I no longer want to live these problems. I just want to live peacefully with my family.”

 

Liz Benítez, 13, lives with her parents and brother in Paraguay. Her family lives with 50 other families on an asentamiento, a piece of land where a community is settled. In Paraguay, small family farmers are victims of huge inequalities when it comes to access to land.

One percent of landowners hold 77 percent of fertile land. Liz’s community lived on land whose ownership was contested by a company. After years of struggle, the government granted the community only a small fraction of the land it once lived on and the entire community was forced to move onto this minuscule parcel. Since moving, Liz can no longer go to school. The closest high school is 20 kilometres away. Liz dreams of one day returning to school, and for her community to live in peace.