Anika Rice

“I have a saying: Don’t confuse poverty with laziness,” says Doña Francisca Ros Gómez*, also known as Doña Fran. She is a 37-year-old single mother of four living in Huica, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. She is also a coffee producer, beekeeper, mushroom grower, gardener and excellent cook. Since 2012, Doña Fran began diversifying the crops that she grows...

In 1975, the Taller Leñateros Workshop designed a print of a Maya man riding a bicycle. Shown in profile, his feathery headdress flows out behind him as he crouches low on the bike. This fusion of worlds and time periods has become an icon of this indigenous-run print shop based in San Cristobal de Las...

In Huehuetenango, a city in the highlands of western Guatemala, on November 25, indigenous women gathered to declare their rights to a life free of fear, violence, and discrimination. The march was organized by CEDFOG (The Center for Study and Documentation of the Occidental Border of Guatemala), Moloj (The Political Association of Mayan Women), and...

By Anika Rice, Explorer Programs Northeastern Madagascar’s incredibly diverse forests are home to rich local medicinal traditions. The Makira forest area in particular houses some 250 plant species that are used to treat more than 80 illnesses. Some experts estimate that the Makira watershed houses 50 percent of Malagasy floral biodiversity. Locals harvest and prepare these...

By Anika Rice, Explorer Programs To an outsider, the forest of Southeastern Cameroon appears silent and still, but to the native Baka, it is teeming with smells, sights, and sounds of flora and fauna. The Baka can navigate overgrown forest trails effortlessly, imitate animal calls precisely, and smell an unseen gorilla from yards away. Their...

By Anika Rice “The unique power of art is that it can transcend differences, connect with people on a visceral level, and compel action,” says creative conservationist and 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Asher Jay. Through her cause-driven artistic projects and campaigns, Jay sheds light on the world’s threatened wildlife and the causes behind the...

By Anika Rice, NG Explorer Programs The daily cup of black tea is a global staple, but have you ever thought about the lives of the people who produce this ubiquitous morning beverage? In the northeastern state of Assam, India, tea laborers of the indigenous Adivasi ethnic groups produce more than enough tea leaves to feed...

By Anika Rice, NG Explorer Programs Imagine yourself in a village in the uplands of Northern Vietnam. Terraced rice fields are etched into the landscape, hugged by crisp mountain air from the high-elevation climate. Buffalo or goats from a neighboring household chew on vegetation. Hemp and indigo, for making cloth, grow nearby. Small communities such...