There are thousands of families who scavange the Guatemala city dump. They live there. Some 500 tons of trash are delivered into the area everyday, much of it daily waste but also including large quantities of medical refuse, dead bodies; (both human and animals). Many young children work in the side streets which lead away from the ravine helping their family scratch a meagre living. It is estimated some 30,000 people live in the rough housing around the dump and there are over 4,000 who live inside the dump itself! Outside the dump, there are streets where the garbage reaches up 20ft high. Since a fatal methane gas fire in 2005, the dump has been off-limits for visitors and policing is quite strict. I was told to leave a couple of times while photographing inside the ravine but managed to get close enough to see the fervent scavenging in full swing. I had entered thru a graveyard which almost falls into the ravine. The sky was thick with dust and smoke all compounded with the stench of rotten decay.
thanks to Lawrence Dizon Sumulong
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