For three months, I travelled to eight different communities in Guatemala, Belize, Salvador, Ecuador and Mexico, collecting images and stories of fifteen illiterate and impoverished indigenous mothers and grandmothers. These women, who had never before travelled beyond their remote communities, left their husbands, children and their entire existence, to embark on an incredible journey to bring light to their communities ... and a new life. 

I created this book as an intimate diary to link you with unique examples of empowerment, dignity and courage. I have gathered hundreds of moments frozen in time, transcriptions and personal entries to bring the reader and the viewer into this remote world—one we never imagined still existed.

Doña Luz: Solar Mama Stories chronicles the story not only of forgotten people, survivors of genocide, victims of ongoing prejudice, oil exploitation, land confiscation, and marginalized communities, but also of ambassadors of faith and courage.

From taking a plane for the first time, to hearing new languages, learning English, living in India for six months, training as solar engineers, returning to electrify their entire villages, becoming role models and local heroes, starting businesses inspired by their journeys, and finding respect at home and within their communities, led mostly by men, these women have overcome unimaginable challenges to electrify their communities. 

My approach uses documentary photography and faithful transcription of true stories from these remote and forgotten communities, as well as my personal observations and seeks to understand, question and reveal unknown realities of the world we live in.” 

Varial* Cédric Houin

Doña Luz
Category : Education, History, Arts & Photography Books
8×10 in, 20×25 cm, 290 pages

18 chapters, 290 photographs




Bunker Roy, Founder of the Barefoot College




With a couple of years of work and many miles of experience from the confines of Mexico, the ancient Mayan areas of Guatemala, the Pacific coast of El Salvador, the idyllic magic of Belize or the deep beauty of the Amazon in Ecuador, emerged the idea of ​​this book.

Doña Luz is the story of those rural women -a treasure of the land and connectors with nature- who bet everything on a trip to India, and an opportunity with Barefoot College that would not solve all their problems, but give them light to change the way of living and face passage through this planet.

Its author, Varial * Cédric Houin, linked to Barefoot College at that time in 2015, was commissioned to tour some of Barefoot College's projects on the continent, follow some of the steps that Bunker Roy and later I had taken, and portray the faces of the solar women, their families, their souls, their lives disappeared in gardens of Eden marked by oblivion.

Doña Luz, and the work that is documented in this book, is a tribute to the protagonists of the book and to all the women, families and communities that today are part of Barefoot College. This work is a commitment to Latin America and its indigenous women. Through the social changes they generate and the ecosystems of natural wealth to which they belong, they are the greatest hope of a region that seeks to regain its place in the world, after 530 years of survival.

Welcome to this rural world, to a Latin America splendid with nature, prolific of human beings full of goodness, gasping for new airs, embraced by small achievements and confused, tired and with hearts beating before an uncertain future.




The Deluxe Edition Of Doña Luz is available in the language of your choice.

Comprised of the entire script, the book is designed to be a photo book, revealing entirely the faces and landscapes behind the stories.

It is a beautiful object, 11x13 inches, printed on high-quality paper.

Signed by the Author.