Happy International Women’s Day! In honor of the amazing Caribbean women who have crossed my path over the last 13 years, I’m sharing some of my favorite photos captured on the road.
As a travel writer and photographer, and particularly as a guidebook author who spends months exploring slowly and living in the Caribbean region, I meet so many incredible individuals on the ground. And in my career-long quest to show the Caribbean beyond the beach, my greatest inspirations have been women. Hard-working, determined, creative Caribbean women in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families in a region where gender inequality persists.
On your next trip to the Caribbean, make time to meet your sisters and integrate them into your itinerary. Sign up for community tours with women’s groups, frequent their restaurants, and purchase their crafts and homemade products. Sit and listen to their stories and learn about their lives. Tourism dollars trickling down directly — visitor to resident — go a long way when you invest in women-owned and operated businesses. I’ve witnessed the latter numerous times over the years.
From Belize to Guadeloupe, Martinique, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and beyond, I raise my hat today and every day to all women, and especially to our Caribbean sisters — those who’ve welcomed me with open arms, shared their homes and their culture, or even spent a few minutes with me while on assignment. The faces below are just a few that remain lodged in my memory and stashed away in my inspiration bank.
All photos ©Lebawit Lily Girma – All Rights Reserved. For more images, visit my portfolio.
To view portraits of women from around the world, check out my dear friend and colleague Lola’s stunning post, which inspired me to create my own.