Mónica, 34, looks for cell phone signal outside the house she built herself two years ago, where she lives with five of her seven children. She left her husband when she caught him sexually harassing her eldest daughter.
Yésica looks out the window during the 2-hour drive to a mate plantation in Oberá, Misiones, a northern province in Argentina. Every day she is picked up by her patrón at 5am with others from her neighborhood. They usually work a 10-hour day.
A tarefero lifts a bag filled with mate leaves. He lost his finger a few years ago while working in a mate drying plant, due to an accident with a mechanical saw.
Monica and Yésica head into a plantation carrying bags which they'll fill with mate leaves, each of which can weight up to around 100 kilos. Most women workers are single mothers who have no alternative for earning a living.
Tareferos stack mate bags atop of a truck, which will take them to a drying plant, the second stage in the production of yerba mate. Once dried, the product is packaged and sold.
Simeón Rodríguez, 65, has picked mate leaves since he was 8 years old. He sleeps in plantations where he'll earn US$8 per day, instead of the legal US$67. He can't afford retirement fees since at times he can't even cover basic necessities such as meals.
Children from the Nuñez family sleep moments before being woken up to go to school. Their home is shared by fourteen family members.
Mónica bathes in a room in her home in Oberá, Misiones.
Yésica has breakfast before dawn, waiting to be picked up to go to work at a plantation.
Joel runs in a makeshift football field in the San Miguel neighborhood in Oberá, Misiones.
María Núnez, Yésica's mother, started working in plantations as a child. Ten years ago her husband passed away after catching the flu in a camp and not receiving medical care. She also lost her baby son due to malnutrition and poor medical attention.
The pastor at the Evangelical church in San Miguel conducts a service.
Mónica earns an average of US$75 per month, working five days a week, ten hours a day. "When there are bills to pay at home, he comes with me," she said, referring to her eldest 13-year-old son who often goes to work with her.
Mónica, mother of 7, carries a bag filled with mate leaves. As many other single mothers, she prefer to work informally, since they receive the social plan Asignación Universal por Hijo which gives a stipend per child to unemployed mothers.
Suli, 20, waits for the service to start inside the Evangelical church in San Miguel. As long as she can remember, she has picked mate leaves to help her family. One of her brothers was born in a plantation.
On rainy days tareferos don't work, often meaning a shortage in a family's weekly income.
Yésica and her son Joel walk in San Miguel, Oberá.