In photos: Living amongst Uruguayan Gauchos

Flora Hastings, a UCL student, travelled to Northern Uruguay to stay with a Gaucho named Juan Moralez. She photographed his work and his everyday life, and interviewed him about the lack of electricity in Northern Uruguay due to a nonchalance on behalf of the (previous) and current Governing party. 

Gauchos are a community that live amongst Uruguay’s grasslands, or Pampas, and have been since cattle were first introduced there by the Spanish Major of Buenos Aires in 1630. Travelling by bus through Uruguay today, you can still see Gauchos wearing ponchos, baggy cotton trousers and woollen berets. 

Read our 3-part series detailing her stay amongst the Uruguayan Gauchos, beginning here with her series of photographs, then featuring her interview with Juan Moralez, and her take on the economic and political situation of the rural Uruguayan Gaucho.

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My horse crossing marshland before herding hundreds of cattle into a neighbouring field
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Juan’s leather chaps and his Bombachas de Campo, traditional cotton Gaucho trousers
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Suzanne leaves cloths out to dry – with no electricity she completes her household tasks with the help of a head-torch
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Belinqa feeds his dog a sheep’s heart before preparing the hide for drying
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From 30 pupils in 1995, to 3 pupils in 2015 – this school suffers the result of generations of would-be gauchos travelling to cities and towns to seek work
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An angry bull plunges into tic repellent
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Juan’s leather chaps
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A view of Juan’s 2,400 acres – making his estancia medium sized
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Jennifer, 9, and her little brother ride to school everyday. In the summer season, rain fall causes flooding in rivers, making their journey hazardous, and sometimes impossible.
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Belinqa dries the hide of a heifer after a day of herding cattle
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Belinqa and his rebenque, or leather horse-whip
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Juan herding his cattle back to their pasture after injecting them with tic repellent
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Belinqa’s ‘facon’ (knife) and ‘rebenque’ (leather horse-whip)
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With no computers, the three pupils throw tyres over bottles, while their horses are tethered to posts over- looking the playground

Part I of our series, ‘Uruguayan Gauchos – Living in Darkness’. 

See more of Flora Hastings’ original photography here

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