Risking it all

Bolivia: In the clouds

Two women on a mission – one to supply remote villages with food, the other to stop mining companies poisoning workers.

Two Bolivian women are on a mission – one is challenging stereotypes in a man’s world, the is other taking on big business interests in her fight to protect local people.

Bolivia has some of the most dangerous roads in the world, but every two weeks, Maria Ramos drives her truck down from her mountain village to the capital, La Paz, to stock up her village shop.

It takes 15 hours to navigate the 280 kilometres (174 miles) on a journey through the Andes into the tropical eco-region known as the Yungas.

Meanwhile, Lourdes travels the mountains by taxi to help women who spend their lives sifting through mud and water for specks of gold.

She and her organisation encourage them to give it up as it puts them at serious risk due to mercury discharge from the mines, and will never make them rich.

Both women risk their lives for others while challenging traditional stereotypes in a male-dominated society.