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The key to cultivating loroco? According to one family of growers, it’s a woman’s touch

Guillermo Marroquín compares the loroco with a rose; it flourishes with a woman’s light touch versus that of a man.

Guillermo Marroquín
Interview Subject
Guillermo Marroquín, leader of the San Pedro Masahuat Loroqueros Agricultural Association in the Department of La Paz, El Salvador.
Background Information
Loroco is a perennial plant native to Central America. The flowers are a key component to Salvadoran cuisine; specifically, it is often an ingredient in pupusas, a corn-based dish popular in El Salvador.

EL ACHIOTAL, El Salvador Under an intense sun, the extended Marroquin-Gavidida family—mothers, daughters, aunts, wives, and nieces—work the fields together. They dedicate their efforts to growing loroco cuttings in a special nursery built for their production, part of an effort to foster rural development and eradicate hunger locally.

Guillermo Marroquín compares the loroco with a rose; it flourishes with a woman’s light touch versus that of a man. He says the hands of the women in his family have a special touch to make the plant bigger and more robust, ensuring that its leaves are greener and that it develops faster.

About 32 people total work on the farm. The men carry out the heaviest labor-intensive tasks, while the women handle the production of cuttings and the care of the plants. They do most of their work at night, filling the days with cooking and family time.  

All photos by Beatriz Rivas

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Beatriz Rivas studied photography at the Technological University of El Salvador and completed her studies in Marketing. She lives in El Salvador, where she develops her work as a photojournalist and videographer. Her work currently focuses on the world of communication and the creation of multimedia content, where she mainly offers her photography and video services to prestigious companies in El Salvador.