Potosi - Bolivia - 17th December 2008 - Where it all began
Dynamite, juice, water and tobacco, the only shop in the world where a child can walk in off the street and buy explosives.
Primary refiners after rock is crushed. The nosiest place I have ever been to with no safegurads in place around any of the equipment We had to crawl through and under to get from one ed to the other.
"Clowns are for the circus, not for work" This is the closest thing there was to a Health & Safety notice, or any other H&S item.
Potosi, the mountain that kills. The miners are lucky if they live past the age of 30 from mines collapse and explosion. By this age however, it will be a chronic lung condition that kills them.
20 meters below ground, stifling temperatures, toxic dusts, no oxygen and for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is what the miners do to survive.
Travellers are allowed down the mine with a guide if they bring gifts of juice, tabacco and dynamite for the mners.
This was the moment of clarity for me. This is Juan, a 12yr old child that I gave dynamite to so that he and his father can blow up and extract veins of silver from the rock. I have often wondered if he is still alive today.
Scotgold - Scotland- 29th November 2017
Fairmined - Colombia - 24th F3bruary 2018
Symposium - Edinburgh - 28th March 2018
Fairtrade - Uganda
Coming soon. . .