Caracas, Venezuela. March7 , 2018: At rehearsals, Caridad's daughter, Andreli checks her phone, while watching Jeidy rehearse. Jeidy was recovering from a nose job and a procedure to give her a 6 pack.
As a crippling economic and political crisis is driving Venezuelans to flea the country in the thousands, seeking escape from hyperinflation, staggering insecurity, and rampant hunger and disfunction, SecoCheers, one of Caracas' best and most well known cheerleading teams, struggles to stay afloat. Many of their best dancers have joined the tides of migration, but the girls that remain, led by their trainer Caridad Seco, continue to rehearse 3 times a week in a public gym's cafeteria, and perform at competitions for the top national teams as well as government events and private parties. Most of the women on the team come from humble backgrounds, and the 2 dollars they make per show makes all the difference in their economic situation, where they are often dependent upon subsidized food and transport as well. As the crisis closes in from all sides, the cheerleaders continue to fight to maintain their reputations as Venezuelan women for being some of the most beautiful in the world, despite the prices of tights and fake eyelashes costing well over a monthly minimum wage, all while promoting the scarce commodity of cheer in the darkest of times in their country.