Living on one dollar a day in rural Guatemala isn’t without its challenges, but that’s exactly what four college-age men did in 2010.
These men faced obstacles including sickness and hunger as they lived for two months in solidarity with the 1 billion people in the world also living on just one dollar a day.
Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple, along with two photographers, traveled to Guatemala City, then rode for six hours on a crowded chicken bus to Peña Blanca, Guatemala, a rural Guatemalan village with a population of 300. Once there, they secured housing, obtained a loan for $125 to start a small radish farm for income, and began their 56-day journey.
They had devised a system involving drawing a number each day, between zero and nine, to indicate their income for the day. This would make their living situation more realistic as some days they would have no income, like other day laborers in the community. Altogether, though, the income totaled just $56 for each of the four men over their stay.
The group succeeded largely because of lessons learned from the locals and the resulting friendships. The film introduces several individuals, giving a more in-depth look into each of their situations.
There is Rosa, a young woman whose circumstances caused her to quit school as a child and work in the fields, which she continues to do while holding on to her dream of becoming a nurse. There is Chino, a 12-year-old boy who is eager to learn some English phrases and works in the fields now instead of attending school. And there is Anthony, a 24-year-old man who is one of the few in the village with a regular job, supporting his wife and three children, along with some older relatives.
Anthony befriends the group and quickly considers them as family, as his wife teaches Zach and Chris how to cook more substantive food by using tricks like adding lard to the beans for more calories.
At just under an hour, this film is a quick, easy view, the stories are engaging, and it offers a unique inside look at rural Guatemalan life. The film is available on Netflix and can be purchased at the Living on One website by clicking here.