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Guatemala´s trash miners risk lives to find gold in capital´s main landfill. Jewelry and metal scraps knocked loose

Monday, November 7, 2011


A torrent of gray, toxic water spews from a drainage tunnel and surges along the ravine, tumbling along garbage that has fallen from the Guatemalan capital's main landfill 1,000 fee above.

Despite the foul odors, the danger of unstable piles of garbage collapsing and the chance for heavy rain to suddenly raise the water level, dozens of people are busily at work searching for jewelry and other metal scraps knocked loose from the trash.

They call the ravine the "mine," and refer to themselves as "miners." Every day, about 300 hike to the bottom of the ravine and wade into the water in search of rings and bracelets made of silver or gold.

Original source: Associated Press