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Rabu, 16 November 2011

DENGEROUS WORK:"THE MINE" IN GUATEMALA CITY


Informal workers search for scrap metal in contaminated water at the bottom of one of the biggest trash dumps in the city, known as "The Mine," in Guatemala City.

In Guatemala City, a place called "The Mine" can deliver both a means of survival and a grisly death. Every day, dozens of residents salvage a living by scouring the massive dump for scrap metal. Facing the threat of mudslides, collapses, and disease, they can potentially earn twice the daily minimum wage. Associated Press photographer Rodrigo Abd documented their efforts.


A gorge at the edge of one of the biggest trash dumps where workers look for scrap metal.

David Flores digs for scrap metal in contaminated water at the bottom of one of the biggest trash dumps in the city, known as "The Mine," in Guatemala City.

A man covers himself from the rain on a mound of garbage at the bottom of one of the biggest trash dumps in the city, known as "The Mine," in Guatemala City. Hundreds of informal workers descend daily into the mounds of the landfill and the rushing waters that come from a storm tunnel and a sewer at the bottom of a gorge to search for scrap metal to sell. This activity known locally as "mining" is extremely dangerous due to mud slides and collapses, but earns many of them about 150 quetzals ($20 dollars) a day, nearly twice the minimum daily wage.

A woman stands amongst the debri as she searches for scrap metal. Hundreds of informal workers descend daily into the mounds of the landfill and the rushing waters that come from a storm tunnel and a sewer.

Miguel carries a hand full of metal he collected in the contaminated water.

Irma (29, right) and Dora (30) carry sacks of metal they collected after working all night.

Julio (second from left) shows off what he found to other metal collectors.

A man uses a magnet to find metal in the material collected from the contaminated water.

A collector reaches for a bag of metal he he collected in the trash mounds.

A young man who goes by the name Paleta searches for metal in contaminated water by a tunnel where the water from sewage converges with storm water runoff.

A man holds up a gold ring he found while searching for scrap metal.

Men search for scrap metal in contaminated water, a task that earns many of them about 150 quetzals ($20 dollars) a day, nearly twice the minimum daily wage.

Julio (second from left) shows off what he found to other metal collectors.

Tomas Perez Hernandez (67) prepares to carry a sack of metal he collected from the bottom of one of the biggest trash dumps in the city, known as "The Mine," in Guatemala City.

A man who gave only his first name as Ronnie carries a sack of metal he collected.

A boy who only gave his first name as Wilmer helped a fellow collector, Gilberto, weigh a sack of metals that they collected.

Men sort scrap metal they found at the bottom of the trash dump.

A scale and ledger of a metal buyer sits at the top of the trash dump.


A man who only gave his first name as Wilmer carries a sack of metal he collected after working the entire day at the bottom of one of the biggest trash dumps in the city, known as "The Mine," in Guatemala City. Hundreds of informal workers descend daily into the mounds of the landfill and the rushing waters that come from a storm tunnel and a sewer at the bottom of a gorge to search for scrap metal to sell. This activity known locally as "mining" is extremely dangerous due to mud slides and collapses, but earns many of them about 150 quetzals ($20 dollars) a day, nearly twice the minimum daily wage.

A youth who goes by the name Baluquita (15) searches for scrap metal in contaminated water next to a mountain of garbage.

A man holds up a gold ring he found while searching for scrap metal.

Men sort scrap metal they found at the bottom of the trash dump.

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