Lisette Lemus

Mario Lorenzo, grave digger at the Soyapango cemetery, rests among the vegetation after carrying out a burial under the COVID-19 protocol and while waiting for the next body ©Lissette Lemus

August’s featured photographer is Lissette Lemus

Lissette Lemus has been working as a photojournalist for El Diario de Hoy (El Salvador) since 2002. In her career she has covered a wide range of topics: natural disasters, politics, sports and social issues. In 2009, one of her images was selected first place winner of the Daily Life category of the World Press Photo Contest. The image shows the violence that people in El Salvador live from the end of the civil conflict until today. In the same year she was selected to take part in a documentary photography workshop organized by Fundación Nuevo Periodismo (FNPI) in Colombia. In 2010, participated in the Joop Swart Masterclass of the World Press Photo Foundation. She is currently part of Native Agency.

The Long Wait

The pandemic was a difficult moment throughout the world, but the situation was aggravated for the countries of Latin America due to the inequality and poverty in which millions of people live.

El Salvador was no exception, only in San Salvador, the capital, thousands of people spend their day to day selling on the streets to make their ends meet.

Many of them live in small rooms called “mesones” – which are very small spaces – where they had to stay while the entire city was paralyzed.

The situation became more difficult when two tropical storms hit the entire national territory, and the population, in addition to the pandemic, faced the vulnerability of their houses to the rains.

While many struggled to survive each day, others lost the battle in hospitals and were fired at solitary funerals that totally broke with the warm tradition of funeral rituals in Latin America.

Marta Menendez survived the pandemic in a small room where she lives in the Zurita neighborhood of Salvador. Her neighbors helped her when she had no food. ©Lissette Lemus
A 55-year-old woman who lived alone in the Zurita neighborhood, during the pandemic, showed her food for the next few days. ©Lissette Lemus
Rosa Alicia Álvarez was affected by the intense rains that affected El Salvador during the quarantine, making the situation more difficult for her and her family. ©Lissette Lemus
The gloves were to be reused by cemetery employees due to shortages. ©Lissette Lemus
Nohemy, 4, and her 5-year-old sister Kimberly live with their mother in a room they rent in an area with plenty of bars and brothels. During the quarantine and after tropical Storm Amanda hit, they feel threatened by one of the walls that is about to fall down. ©Lissette Lemus
Two street vendors wait for the bus the night the quarantine began in El Salvador. ©Lissette Lemus
A bread vendor ride through the lonely streets of San Salvador during the quarantine. They were allowed to bring bread to their customers. ©Lissette Lemus

To see more of Lissete’s work, here


La fotógrafa del mes de agosto es Lissette Lemus

Lissette Lemus es parte del equipo de fotoperiodistas de El Diario de Hoy (El Salvador) desde el año 2002 hasta la fecha. En su trayectoria ha cubierto un amplio rango de temas que van desde desastres naturales y política, hasta deportes y sociales. En 2009, una de sus fotografías fue seleccionada en el primer lugar de la categoría Vida Cotidiana del concurso World Press Photo. La imagen fue un registro de la violencia que vive El Salvador desde el final del conflicto armado. En el mismo año fue becada por la Fundación Nuevo Periodismo (FNPI) para participar en el taller de fotografía documental en el Amazonas colombiano. En 2010, participó en el Joop Swart Masterclass de la Fundación World Press Photo. Actualmente es parte de Native Agency.

The Long Wait (La Larga Espera)

La pandemia fue un momento difícil en todo el mundo, pero la situación se agravó para los países de América Latina debido a la desigualdad y la pobreza en la viven millones de personas.

El Salvador no fue la excepción, solo en San Salvador, la capital, miles de personas pasan el día a día de lo que venden en las calles en El Salvador. 

Muchos de ellos viven en pequeñas habitaciones llamados “mesones”, que son espacios muy reducidos, donde tuvieron que permanecer mientras la ciudad entera se encontraba paralizada. 

La situación se tornó más difícil cuando dos tormentas tropicales azotaron a todo el territorio nacional, y la población además de la pandemia enfrentó la vulnerabilidad de sus casas ante las lluvias. 

Mientras muchos se debatían por sobrevivir cada día, otros perdían la batalla en los hospitales y eran despedidos en funerales solitarios que rompían totalmente con la cálida tradición del ritual funerario en Latinoamérica.

Para ver más del trabajo de Lissette, aquí