From a full-length feature run in La República, Peru.
Eight hours north of Lima, spanning roughly 5,300 hectares in the irrigated valleys of Chao and Virú, lie the headquarters of agricultural giant Camposol. Today, Camposol is the biggest exporter of asparagus in the world, but fifteen years ago asparagus was a foreign crop to the arid northern coast. A multi-million dollar public-private investment brought water from the foothills of the Andes to the province of La Libertad and created a non-traditional market that has pulled migrants from across the Andes, the Amazon, and the coast to work in newly established plantations. Chao, the center of the northern peru asparagus industry, has become “a microcosm of Peru.” These are some of the workers who have migrated to work in the once arid but now flourishing asparagus fields of northern Peru.