I had the pleasure of photographing a group of women living in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain. The women are there to study midwifery, mostly trading for their help in laying stones for the future classroom space. The school is open to new students as well as previously trained midwives who felt unprepared with their original training. Most women studying here seemed to have plans to go on and work as Doulas as the school is not accredited. Some are already midwives who are there to enrich their skills.
I arrived on the day of a blessing way ceremony for a Czech woman who came to Da a la Luz to have her baby. Coming to the land to have your baby isn't encouraged but it does happen from time to time. When Christina goes into labor she will have a gaggle of Doulas at her fingertips, most of whom have promised to exit the land when she goes into labor. Others will stay to help in any way they can. There is no running water or electricity on the land. Hot water for the blow up kiddie pool will have to be heated in the kitchen caravan. Life on the "field" as it is often called here was described to me as "chaotic" by one of my hosts. Most seem to revel in it. For all this budding school seems to lack they cannot be accused of not living by their mission. They are a center away from modern medicine. The homepage of their website states, "Rather than fighting a non functioning system we are creating a new paradigm." It was refreshing to see such a rogue learning environment. Home births in the states have gone far down the path of protocol with midwives locked to their I pads recording data throughout the birth. It was lovely to be so far on the other side of things.