Island of the Widows

Deadly Kidney Disease Linked to Climate Change in New Report
Sasha Chavkin · August 29, 2019

A mysterious disease that has killed thousands of laborers in the tropics could be a sign of the growing health threat posed by climate change.

From the Archives: What wiped out these Central American sugarcane workers?
Razzan Nakhlawi · February 22, 2019

The cause is still a mystery but the impact of a dangerous chronic kidney disease was so overwhelming that the Nicaraguan town was rechristened the island of widows.

Reform signals new strategy against lethal kidney disease
Sasha Chavkin · July 29, 2015

As a deadly epidemic plagues agricultural workers, Costa Rica’s president announced new rules to limit heat stress and dehydration.

Mysterious kidney disease now ‘top priority’ in Central America
Sasha Chavkin · April 29, 2013

Central America’s health ministries sign a declaration committing to a series of steps to combat the ailment’s reach.

Key Findings
ICIJ · March 14, 2012

A wave of chronic kidney disease is devastating communities along the Pacific coast of Central America. Each year from 2005 to 2009,…

Thousands of sugar cane workers die as wealthy nations stall on solutions
Sasha Chavkin and Ronnie Greene · December 12, 2011

Deadly disease is devastating communities in Central America, where it has decimated the ranks of sugarcane workers.

Map: Kidney disease deaths in Central America, 2009
ICIJ · December 12, 2011

  This map of Central America shows the number of kidney disease deaths in 2009, as well as the increase in mortality…