jtriana Javier Triana

I'm a Spanish freelance journalist based in Turkey. I'm a native speaker of Spanish and fluent in both Italian and English. I have mostly worked for an international news wire covering a wide variety of issues from Beijing Olympics in 2008 and South Africa's World Cup in 2010 to famine in the Horn of Africa in 2011, war in Somalia in 2012, or the 2013 terrorist assault to an upscale mall in Nairobi. I was based in Kenya from 2010 to 2013.

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Captain Elias - a Greek hotel turned ...
Kos
By Javier Triana
06 Aug 2015

For Jawid Fadaee fleeing war has turned the world into a huge and evil waiting room – waiting for the right time to flee Afganistan, waiting to cross to Turkey through Iran's snowy mountains without being shot by the army, waiting for a human trafficker to get him into Greece on a crammed rubber boat for a thousand euro and, what keeps him busy now, waiting for his legal paperwork to be ready. He's one of the hundreds of migrants jammed into the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos. A 25-room hotel now paved by mattresses with no electricity and almost no running water. Syrians, Afghans, Pakistanis and Bangladehis are the main groups in this hotel, now turned into an informal refugee camp no one takes care of, apart from two NGOs. “If the Greek authorities saw how we have to live here, they may speed up the proccess for us to continue our journey”, Jawid complains. They only eat once a day thanks to a group of Greek volunteers. All of his colleagues are also waiting for a piece of paper from the local police stating that they can travel around Greece for a period ranging from one to six months before applying for asylum. Once that period is expired, they may be deported. But none of them care about it because they are confident by that time they will be in Germany – a dream destination for many migrants risking their lives in the Mediterranean.

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Captain Elias - a Greek hotel turned ...
Kos, Greece
By Javier Triana
04 Aug 2015

For Jawid Fadaee fleeing war has turned the world into a huge and evil waiting room – waiting for the right time to flee Afganistan, waiting to cross to Turkey through Iran's snowy mountains without being shot by the army, waiting for a human trafficker to get him into Greece on a crammed rubber boat for a thousand euro and, what keeps him busy now, waiting for his legal paperwork to be ready. He's one of the hundreds of migrants jammed into the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos. A 25-room hotel now paved by mattresses with no electricity and almost no running water. Syrians, Afghans, Pakistanis and Bangladehis are the main groups in this hotel, now turned into an informal refugee camp no one takes care of, apart from two NGOs. “If the Greek authorities saw how we have to live here, they may speed up the proccess for us to continue our journey”, Jawid complains. They only eat once a day thanks to a group of Greek volunteers. All of his colleagues are also waiting for a piece of paper from the local police stating that they can travel around Greece for a period ranging from one to six months before applying for asylum. Once that period is expired, they may be deported. But none of them care about it because they are confident by that time they will be in Germany – a dream destination for many migrants risking their lives in the Mediterranean.

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"Pagpag": Manila's Junk Eaters
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Text: Javier Triana / Photos: Álvaro Barrantes

The Padilla family are masters of junk food. None of them work in Mc Donalds or in local fast-food chain Jolibee, but they spend hours with their products in-hand. When the sun goes down in and those franchises are about to close, leftovers take on a whole new life in the slums of Manila. The Padillas re-fry the leftovers at their own home, de-bone them and pack them into small plastic bags ready to sell to the poorest among the poorest. "Pagpag," as it is called, is an ingenious solution for these people to fill their bellies.

"I would prefer to do something different, but now I'm too old to apply for a job, and pagpag generates enough income for my family," says Jessica Padilla, 35, mother of five.

The Padillas know it's prohibited by the Department of Social Welfare and Developement, but pagpag (literally "shake off," the dirt from the edible) pays the school fees for their children and provides them with enough food.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Umoja, a Kenyan Village for Abused Women
By Javier Triana
04 Jun 2014

Judy Latukoi talks about her curse with astonishing ease. “My father wanted to marry me with an old man, and I didn't. So I escaped”, she says, her sight focused on her smartphone's display. Judy was then 9 years old. Her story is not new, exclusive or even slightly original. Thousands of girls go through it in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their fathers try to marry them for a dowry. Maybe some cows, a symbol of whealth among the Samburu, in Northern Kenya, where Judy comes from.
“I was told about a place near Archers Post where they could help me. A village for women”, she adds. Thirty-five women live there currently. Umoja (Unity in Kiswahili) was founded in 1990 by fifteen women allegedly raped by British soldiers and it was born merely as a group. After trying to get funding through several activities to no avail, they found the recipe for success: to create a village in which they could live safely and promote it to touristm
“We saved for months”, says the leader, Rebecca Lolosoli. “After we applied for the land [on which Umoja stands today], men came and beat us saying women should not own land”. But their project went ahead. Now the women proudly say that unwanted men are afraid of entering their village, as they've been severly fined by the Police. Umoja is an oasis for those who flee abuse, forced marriage or female genital mutilation. But it's not only about that – its residents try to educate the surrounding communities on women rights and health too. “Mothers teach their children not to beat their wives and to be responsible for the children they have”, Judy explains.
UN Women figures show that 21 per cent of Kenyan women have been sexually abused during their lifetimes, but not even 6 per cent of those report to the police. The situation is no different in the rest of the continent.
Generating income for Umoja's residents poses another challenge. Especially since Umoja (part of the 'Half the Sky' Movement) is a drought-prone area. That's why Rebecca designed a new way of subsistence – instead of depending on the traditional cows and goats, they decided to grow chicken whose eggs they sell in a nearby market.
Several donors and NGOs also provide funds for the development of the village, composed by ten huts in a dusty fenced compound. Umoja survives basically on selling beadded jewelry to the very few tourists that hit this spot of Kenya. They recently acquired a water tank with funds from the sales of their products in the United States.
The entrance fee they charge to visitors is used to fund a pre-school for their children. But if there are no men in Umoja, how do the women breed? Judy replies: “If they want to have children, young women like me go outside the village, look for a boyfriend, get pregnant, leave him, and come back with the baby”.

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Swimmers Without Borders
By Javier Triana
07 May 2014

Brian Onyoo is a swimming instructor at Nairobi's exclusive Impala Club, where he teaches children how to swim and overcome their fear of water. “In Nairobi, most people run away when they see water”, he jokes. Brian Onyoo comes from the Kibera slum. He was born in Nyanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria, where flooding is common. According to him, most people living in his slum don’t know how to swim because they cannot afford paying for lessons.

The hourly rate for swimming lessons at the Impala Club is 200 Kenyan Shillings ($2,29 US). “Very few people can afford that. To be honest, if you live in the slums and you have that money, you don't spend it on learning to how swim. You buy flour, tomatoes or cooking oil. With 400 KSH you can buy food for a whole week”, he says, explaining that most of his students come from wealthy families.

While the participation of Eric Moussambani from Equatorial Guinea in the men's 100 meters freestyle swimming at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games made many laugh – the man had learned how to swim only a few months before the competition and recorded the worst time in the history of the sport, it highlighted one of Africa’s untold tragedies: the fact that many people don’t know how to swim and often die drowning.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa has the highest rate of drowning deaths in the world. The problem is so serious that the Kenyan Red Cross launched programs to teach people living in risky areas (such as fishermen) basic water survival skills. “A lot of people die because they don't know how to swim. People in the countryside are not used to it, it's simply not a part of their lives. It is seen as a type of luxury. Swimming is something the elite can do, because they can send their children to a school with a swimming pool”, Secretary General of the Kenyan Red Cross Abbas Gullet, explains.

In Africa, the fear of water has even been used as a weapon of war. During the 1994 Rwanda genocide, Hutu militants would order Tutsis to jump in the water as an alternative to being hacked to death with machetes.

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Typhoon Haiyan Six Months Later: Diff...
Philippines
By Javier Triana
04 May 2014

Six months after Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6000 people and left more than one million homeless in the Philippines, the country is slowly recovering.

The 17 members of the Homerez family from the island of Leyte lost everything in the tragedy. The island was the most affected area with 3,000 dead recorded. They were able to survive thanks to the rice they found on a boat that had washed ashore near their house. In the last six months they have been struggling to rebuild their houses and overcome the death of the father.

The Libutar family wasn't as lucky as the Homerez. Their house was washed away by the typhoon. They now live under a bridge by the river. Meanwhile they are trying to save money to rebuild their makeshift house. The aid they get from NGOs is not enough to neither build a concrete house nor buy another plot in a safer area.

Authorities are trying to move people who lost their homes into longer term and more durable housing. About 500 000 people are living in areas where their is a high risk of natural disasters. According to the mayor of Tacloban, 65 000 to 75 000 people are waiting to be relocated to safer areas.

490.000 houses were destroyed by the typhoon on Leyte, and more than 200 000 families haven’t received enough aid to build a safe and durable home.

Journalist Javier Triana will interview the breadwinners of both families, NGO officials and the Mayor of Tacloban about the country's recovery.

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On the Other Bank
By Javier Triana
05 May 2014

Typhoon Haiyan washed the Libutars house away half a year ago now. They lived by a river, and they had to resettle to the other bank - under a bridge. Having lost everything, it's the most affordable roof they found. Meanwhile they are trying to save money, only to rebuild their house using the same plot and the same materials.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 13
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Jawid Fadaee, 26 year-old Afghan, pictured in the room he shares with 6 more people at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now turned into an informal refugee camp in the Greek island of Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 12
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Migrants look for their names on the list released by the Police in the Greek island of Kos - they await for a permit that would allow the to stay legally in Greece for a period ranging from one to six months before applying for asylum. Most of them use the document to continue their journey northwards.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 11
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Migrants look for their names on the list released by the Police in the Greek island of Kos - they await for a permit that would allow the to stay legally in Greece for a period ranging from one to six months before applying for asylum. Most of them use the document to continue their journey northwards.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 10
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

As every morning, hundreds of Asian migrants wait in front of Kos local Police Station for their travel documents to be released, in the Greek island of Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 09
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Happy and exhausted, fourteen men from Bangladesh land at the Greek beach of Lambi, in the island of Kos, after having departed from Turkey 8 hours before on a packed rubber boat. They would later ask what to do and would be directed to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 08
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Jammed on a rubber boat, fourteen men from Bangladesh approach the Greek beach of Lambi, in the island of Kos, after having departed from Turkey 8 hours before. They would later ask what to do and would be directed to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 07
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Jammed on a rubber boat, fourteen men from Bangladesh approach the Greek beach of Lambi, in the island of Kos, after having departed from Turkey 8 hours before. They would later ask what to do and would be directed to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 05
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Fourteen men from Bangladesh approach the Greek beach of Lambi, in the island of Kos, after having departed from Turkey 8 hours before. They would later ask what to do and would be directed to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 06
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Jammed on a rubber boat, fourteen men from Bangladesh approach the Greek beach of Lambi, in the island of Kos, after having departed from Turkey 8 hours before. They would later ask what to do and would be directed to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 04
Kos
By Javier Triana
16 Jul 2015

Sunrise on Lambi beach, where most of the migrants coming from the Turkish coast arrive on packed rubber boats. Many of them later go to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in the Greek island of Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 03
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Jawid Fadaee (R) eats the only meal many of the refugees will have that day, thanks to the volunteers of the Greek NGO Kos Solidarity, at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in the Greek island of Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 02
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

One volunteer from the Greek NGO Kos Solidarity asks the queuing migrants to stand in line as they prepare to deliver the only meal many of the refugees will have that day, at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp in the Greek island of Kos.

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Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

A refugee takes his daily meal delivered by Greek volunteers at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 34
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

A refugee takes his daily meal delivered by Greek volunteers at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 35
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

A refugee takes his daily meal delivered by Greek volunteers at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 33
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Two migrants show their food delivery coupons while standing in line for the only food delivery per day at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 32
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Migrants queue for the only food delivery per day at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 31
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Migrants queue for the only food delivery per day at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 30
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Migrants queue for the only food delivery per day at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 28
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

A migrant sleeps on the bar of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 29
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Migrants looking for their names in the permit-issuance list set at the entrance of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 27
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Two migrants at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 25
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Main entrance to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 26
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Two refugees on a mirror in the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey. Painting on the walls is one of the very pastimes children have in the hotel.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 24
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Refugees in what used to be the cafeteria of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 23
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Three Afghan refugees portrayed at the room they stay in at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 22
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

The swimming-pool area of the of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now occupied by refugee tents, in the Greek island of Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 21
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Cards on a matress at the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 19
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

A tent where a group of migrants from Pakistan sleep in the gardens of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 20
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Migrants laying on matresses on the floor of what used to be the cafeteria area of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 17
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Syrian kids playng in the swimming-pool area of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 18
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Main entrance to the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 16
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

The swimming-pool area of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now surrounded by refugee tents, in the Greek island of Kos.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 14
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

Syrian friends playing cards in the Greek Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 15
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

A migrant cooks in the garden of the Captain Elias abandoned hotel, in the Greek island of Kos, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Captain Elias Hotel Refugees 01
Kos
By Javier Triana
15 Jul 2015

A Syrian family portayed in the Greek Captain Elias abandoned hotel, now an informal refugee camp for migrants crossing to Europe via Turkey.

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Junk Eaters 23
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
06 Nov 2014

Men playing pool and daily life at the impoverished Baseco slum, Manila, where many 'pagpag' consumers live.

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Junk Eaters 21
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Ezequiel Padilla and a customer at the Padilla's 'pagpag' stall in the Baseco slum market, Manila.

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Junk Eaters 22
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
06 Nov 2014

An image of the impoverished Baseco slum, Manila, where many 'pagpag' consumers live.

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Junk Eaters 18
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Nov 2014

Ezequiel and Jessica Padilla at their 'pagpag' stall in the Baseco slum market, Manila.