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.
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.
Tareferos arrange mate leaves into bags, each weighing up to 100 kilos.
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.
Axel, 9, accompanies his dad to harvest mate over the summer when school is out. "He needs to learn the discipline of work," said his dad Sergio.
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.
Kevin, 9, and his mom Coco, 28, look for internet reception in their home. Coco kicked Kevin's father out of the house two years ago after throwing boiling water at her during an argument. She is a single mother with no professional skills and depends on the yerba mate harvest to support her family.
Children from the Núñez family help prepare dinner at their home in Oberá, Misiones.
Mónica bathes in a room in her home in Oberá, Misiones. Mate harvest is increasingly inaccessible to women, since many "patrones" only allow men to work because they harvest more quantity, leaving women marginalized to earn a living.
A retired tarefero prays inside the Evangelical church in San Miguel, Oberá. The community is greatly religious and many find comfort in gathering in prayer.
Tomás comforts his son Joel, 6, on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Sergio, 32, points towards rain clouds in the distance, during a 10-hour work day under a 35-degree Celcius sun.
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.
Tareferos stack bags filled with yerba mate in a truck, which will be taken to a drying plant where the leaves are processed, dried and packaged.
Tareferos walk home after enjoying a day by the stream in their neighborhood of San Miguel, in Obera, Misiones.
Kids play football in the neighborhood field on San Miguel in Obera, Misiones.
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.