La Carretera

Life Along Peru's Interoceanic Highway


Roberto (Bear) Guerra

Make a donation


"Highways, of course, alter everything. They change patterns of human settlement, hasten the destruction of natural habitat, transmit disease, set the stage for clashes of cultures." -Ted Conover

Peru's Interoceanic Highway was finally completed last year, linking the country's Pacific ports to Brazil’s Atlantic coast. Proponents of  the road praise it for connecting remote communities and facilitating trade between Peru, China, Brazil, the U.S. and other countries. But, along with "development," the highway is bringing environmental devastation, social tensions, and conflict to one of  the most bio-diverse places on the planet.

In 2010, I began to create a portrait of  life along the new highway during this period of  profound change. My hope is that this project can contribute to a critical discussion about "development" in the modern world, and the ways in which our first-world appetites for resources fuel monumental changes in developing countries.


Roberto (Bear) Guerra is a photographer who focuses on humanitarian, environmental, and social justice issues throughout the Western Hemisphere. His work has been published and exhibited widely and received several recognitions, including an honorable mention in the 2012 Photocrati Fund competition for his project in Peru, "La Carretera: Life Along the Interoceanic Highway." Bear has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award in Photojournalism (2010) for work from Haiti, and the recipient of  funding from the Society of  Environmental Journalists, the Puffin Foundation, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, and the Christensen Fund/Project Word.

View by Project View by Photographer

Featured Projects

Lágrimas do Rio Doce
Tears of the Sweet River

Photographer: Leonardo Merçon

The project Lágrimas do Rio Doce (Translation: Tears of the Sweet River) is an independent photographic-audiovisual production aiming to show the real consequences of this tragedy for biodiversity, local populations and traditional communities that depend on the river to survive. The river is rooted in the culture of fishermen, native americans (índios) and riverside populations. Through this project, these communities will be given a voice.


Photographer: Mustafah Abdulaziz

Initiated in 2011, “Water” is a fifteen-year photographic project. Water and humanity are moving towards a crisis. We live in a time when 650 million people have no access to safe drinking water; when our rivers, basins and lakes are affected by decades of industry; when rising sea levels are placing Pacific Islanders in the cross-hairs of becoming the first climate refugees. The complexity of our relationship with water reflects our greater behavior towards our environment, which we’re beginning to understand has a defining impact on our planet.

Breaking the Cycle
a documentary film

Photographer: Dan Lamont and Sara Finkelstein

The facts are startling: the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country on Earth. Those who fill the jails often come from fractured families with pernicious, multigenerational histories of poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence. Kids from such environments too often get in trouble. Incarcerated youth have a 75 percent chance of reoffending as adults and the cycle continues. It is a terrible tragedy and a colossal waste of human lives and social resources.
Knife Fight City

Photographer: Richard Steven Street

Knife Fight City explores an unacknowledged variety of American apartheid in Huron, poorest town in California, where an American peasantry slaves for industrialized agriculture in a giant farm labor exploitation camp.