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Tubul shellfish divers like to say that Chileans are a resilient people. They must think of themselves. They live one of the hardest lives I've ever seen. They spend long and hard hours on the deck of their boats, exposed to cold, wind and rain, and even longer and harder hours under these boats, pressed by the weight of the water and the urgency to collect shellfish. In each descent, ninety minutes in the freezing water connected to the surface by a simple hose that pushes air into their lungs, 40 kilos of mussels accumulate in the basket that they drag behind them. On an average day, it's three descents. On an average week, six days of work.

Among these divers, stories are told of impossible feats, of men who swim without legs, without arms, who alone bring out hundreds of kilos of shellfish. Abyssal tragedies are also told, of incautious people who, trapped by freezing currents coming from the depths, lose their senses and die.

On February 10th, in the middle of the night, the life of these collectors, which was already difficult, became almost impossible. An earthquake of unimaginable 9 degrees devastated their village. Three hours later, a tsunami took what was left. When I met these men and these women (for there are also female divers), most of them were still hoping to get their lives back a home, better boats, reliable compressors, and tearless diving suits. The prospect, however, was the worst possible.

That was the struggle I sought to record. Part of the photos were used in the book Bordemar. See the book here

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