"Vivas las Queremos" Photo Exhibition Continues to Raise Awareness of Violence against Women

Vivas las Queremos
The mother and sisters of Fátima del Rosario Cerda Hernández who was killed by her 17-year-old stepson.

On July 3, 2017, the photograph exhibition "Vivas las Queremos!" was presented at the Nicaraguan and Central American Historical Institute (IHNCA) of the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA). The exhibition recognizes the lives of 18 women murdered in the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCS) between 2014 and 2016 and aims to raise awareness and generate action to combat gender-based violence. The exhibit captures personal and moving images of family members and loved ones who share their memories of what the victims were like, how they died and whether or not justice has been done. The images were taken by photojournalist Margarita Montealegre and the testimonies collected by the activist Martha Flores.

The opening ceremony was emotional and cathartic. US Ambassador Laura Dogu was in attendance and she had the opportunity to meet a some of the family members of the women featured in the exhibit. The exhibit will remain on display in the building's Memory Walkway indefinitely. Since its debut, the exhibition has received wide recognition and has been positively received in both education circles and the business sector, which has historically shown little interest in the prevention or denouncement of violence against women. The exhibition was also displayed at the Nicaraguan North American Cultural Center (CCNN) and the Rocedes textile factory, in the Las Mercedes Free Trade Zone. Rocedes employs almost 3,000 workers of which 1,300 are women. The human resources staff called the exhibition a resounding success. Afterwards, 15 female workers reported cases of domestic violence to the human resources department and are now receiving support from the company psychologist. At the same time, three male workers came forward and asked for help managing their anger.

Next the exhibition will be displayed in Bilwi, in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, at the request of a local cultural organization. The exhibit, sponsored by Global Communities, is part of the USAID Local Governance Program which aims to strengthen citizen participation and the capacity of civil society organizations to promote democracy, human rights and effective governance.

US Ambassador Laura Dogu
Silgian Tórrez, who’s mother Melania was featured in the exhibit, meets with US Ambassador Laura Dogu.

Vivas las Queremos
Seylin Sofía Martínez Fonseca and her brother at the opening ceremony. Their mother was murdered when they were teenagers by their father and their uncle.

Vivas las QueremosView all of the photos and read the testimonies from their families in Spanish here.