Tuesday 27 December 2011

A Mine in the Dumpster

13.12.2011 - Humanjournalism

In Guatemala, dozens of people try to make a living in one of the worst jobs in the world. These people look for valuable objects in the foul waters that flow from the bottom of a 300 m deep cliff, located just a few blocks away from the Presidential Palace.

Dozens of people look for heavy metals in the foul waters at the bottom of Guatemala City’s biggest dumpster, known as “the mine”. Hundreds of informal workers dig every day through the filth looking for valuable objects to sell. The group is known as “the miners” and they expose themselves to the extreme risk of landslides. But many of them make about 150 Quetzals ($20) a day, almost double the country’s minimum wage. 

At the bottom of this cliff sits the junction of unique circumstances: on one side there is the boundary of the city’s general dumpster, with mountains of waste that never stop to grow, overflow, tumble down and advance gaining space.

On the other, a tunnel exit that spews out a great flow of water from the city’s sewer system. 

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