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Thursday, May 1, 2014


Today, May 1st, is the celebration of International Workers Day in most countries around the world. The United States opted to celebrate Labor Day in September. The paradox is that May 1st was chosen by international union workers as a way to pay tribute to the union leaders who organized a huge strike in Chicago in 1887 to struggle for an 8-hour work day. 

Four of the leaders, considered anarchists, were executed and a fifth killed himself while in jail. 600.000 workers attended their funerals. 

History is a powerful tool to awaken our conscious mind and allows us to remember and be grateful for our ancestors. Many good people have paved the way for many of us to be able to enjoy a more humanized working environment. Let's remember them and celebrate the generous hearts of these anonymous people who were left behind. Below, you can see other working people around the world. Many of the people profiled are not unionized but still they are part of the millions of people who work every day to survive and improve their lives:

In La Serena Plaza, Chile, this man, dressed neatly in a white apron, sells popcorn every day from his tricycle. He stands there the whole day, waiting for customers. Late in the evening he rides his tricycle home, hopefully with no popcorn on display.

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra, "The Pop Corn Seller" 

In Honduras, a woman prepares grilled meat for the customers who arrive to buy their low-cost lunches. You can see the seriousness and concentration on her face as she grills the meat to perfection outside her home. She is a mother and a professional worker, proud of her trade. 

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra, "The Meat Cooker".

Two Chilean workers, after a whole day of work under the sun doing landscaping, smile at the camera expressing their pride for their efforts to beautify the environment.

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra, "Environmental Beautifiers".

She is about to give birth, but this does not deter her from selling art and crafts with a smile on her face at a rural fair in Paihuano, Chile.

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra, "Creative Life".

This Czech artist is on the Charles Bridge in Prague every day painting beautiful portraits of tourists with just a carbon pencil. He loves what he does and so do his customers. 

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra "A Czech Artist of Prague". 

Another Czech, far away from his native Prague, is gardening in the Elqui Vally, Chile. He made a kind of turban to protect himself from the sun. After all, Mother Earth belongs to all of us and in the end, we belong to her, beyond borders, passports, skin color, sexual preferences, language or money.

 Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra,"A Czech gardening in Chile".

Ethiopian women  waiting to be picked up so they can work in the fields. In spite of the hard work ahead, they smile with kindness and hope.

Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Fisher, "Ethiopian Working Women".

This young woman is selling her family made organic face and body creams, manufactured with native honey, local herbs and flowers from the Elqui region in Chile. The family also made the clay containers to hold their products. I love the brand name of the products: "Mielqui", which is a fusion of two words: "Miel" (honey) and "Elqui" (name of the valley where these products are made). Her whole stand smelled of honey, jasmin and ylan-ylan  flowers. Sweet fragance all around!

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Barra,"Native Aromatique". 


 Happy International Work Day for all the people who work with their hands, minds and souls 
for a better world!


  1. Nancy, many thanks.
    Es importante conmemorar las luchas del pasado y aprender de ellas para identificar cuales son y han de ser las luchas del presente. Te agradezco las reflexiones. Hoy es un día importante para la mayor parte de los trabajadores del mundo.

  2. I love the pictures from all around the world. Pictures of both men and women. Pictures of those who have very little and yet much joy. Pictures of those who struggle but also have pride and dignity. Thank you Nancy for reminding all of us the importance of celebrating May 1.

  3. Beautiful Pictures and back stories! :)