Through their lenses they have already seen the corteza amarilla trees (Tabebuia ochracea) that color the lowlands during the summer. They also shared with us their view from the sky when they flew over the landscape of the province. In Costa Ricans , their most recent photo book, the brothers Sergio and Giancarlo Pucci decided to show us who are the people who inhabit and give life to this landscape.
They worked with their crew for almost three years on their first book of portraits. It includes images of 50 Costa Ricans of diverse occupations, ages, genders and areas of the country. Eight of these stories take place in Guanacaste.
On the hunt for stories
Long before the Pucci brothers went out with camera in hand to find these characters, they enlisted the help of a social researcher to analyze data from the State of the Nation and the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC). They wanted to understand the people living in Costa Rica in order to choose people who, overall, represented those descriptions.
In Guanacaste they found people who work in nature conservation and tourism positions, long-lived people who have seen 100 years and counting, and people who have come to live their lives in Guanacaste and feel it as their own.
One of the protagonists is the chemist from San Jose, “adopted by Hojancha”, Andrea Leiva. Her story is that of a young woman who moved from the city to the countryside and decided to become a brewmaster.
We wanted to [photograph in] a place like Hojancha, because it represents indicators of social progress. So, Andrea’s case is perfect because she is in Hojancha and she is a woman in a non-traditional position,” explains photographer Giancarlo Pucci.
Leiva was very confused when she was approached to appear in a photobook, but was quickly excited when she heard more about the project.
[The book reflects] the reality of people, that we are not perfect and that many people go through situations similar to yours. [Look] for inspiration from regular people,” she says.
The photographs of the 50 characters are accompanied by a story that deeply marked their lives. To achieve this, they had a crew of 28 writers of all ages, occupations and backgrounds.
The journalist María Fernanda Cruz wrote the history of the brewmaster. Cruz praises the book’s effort to portray people’s day-to-day lives as they are, and not typical stories of self-improvement that may mislead people.
If you don’t portray these other stories of ordinary people, you are excluding a large part of the population,” she says.
That same diversity is captured not only in the Costa Ricans book, but in the production work involved. The photographer says that it is a work that transcends the Puccis because of the number of people involved in the work process, the photographed and writers.
It has been like a gift to be able to get even closer to Guanacaste through the eyes and experiences of these people,” says Giancarlo.
Costa Ricans’ book is available in the country’s main bookstores in both English and Spanish versions.