Written by Robin Grant, Photographed by Connie Tsang & Jessica Chaney

With a prevailing class system in Peru, many members of the working class continue to face unfavourable labour conditions. Domestic workers are perhaps the most well-documented group. These workers often come from rural communities to big cities to find employment, education, and a future. Instead, they experience labour conditions with long hours, no overtime, no health coverage and salaries below minimum wage, among other unfair practices.

Established in 1998, La Casa de Panchita is a not-for-profit organization in Lima that acts as a meeting place for domestic workers of all ages. The organization aims to strengthen domestic workers' self-esteem and educate them about their rights and roles as domestic workers. Everyone who visits La Casa de Panchita receives advice and the tools to fuel independence.

Dedicated volunteers run the services and activities at La Casa de Panchita. They offer free tutoring in school work, library access, English classes, employment and placement in domestic services, legal advice, sexual and reproductive health consultations, emotional guidance, and plenty of workshops. In addition, volunteers organize activities for the visitors to socialize and bond, such as karaoke, movie nights, cultural and recreational outings, and, when possible, provide contact with family members in rural areas. 

“While Peru has made steps to implement laws protecting domestic workers, much remains to be done in educating both employees and employers of the existing rights.”

La Casa de Panchita's main objective is to spread and defend the rights of excluded people who face discrimination resulting from poverty, age, gender, race, language or culture. It advocates for a civil society in which all workers receive equal rights and where the state, and its institutions fulfill, promote, and resolve any violations of those rights promptly and justly. 

While Peru has made steps to implement laws protecting domestic workers, much remains to be done in educating both employees and employers of the existing rights. Many individuals remain unaware of their rights, and without the work of organizations like La Casa de Panchita, continue to face discrimination. 


Connie Tsang is a Toronto-based photographer, specializing in events, editorial, and photojournalism. Her photos have been published by the CBC, the Guardian, and the Museum of the City of New York’s Activist NY. She has also photographed Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District. Connie likes to support innovative organizations involved in social change, community-building, and human rights. She is proud to have represented Photographers Without Borders at La Casa de Panchita. 

Jessica Chaney's work draws from travel photography, social documentary and anthropology, Jessie’s work is influenced by new environments, artists, people and cultures. She's inspired by the unseen moments and overlooked details of the spiritual in the everyday. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s in Photography and Art History from Brown University and a Masters in Photojournalism from the London College of Communication. She lives and works in Los Angeles and London.

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