Old July 16, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Tomisimo Tomisimo is offline
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Cachorreo, the price of gold, and the highest city in the Americas: (I found this interesting, so I thought I'd share)

La Rinconada, Peru (Wikipedia)
Workers at the gold mine near La Rinconada, Peru work for 30 days without payment. On the 31st day they are allowed to take with them as much ore as they can carry on their shoulders. Whether the ore contains any gold or not is a matter of luck.
The Price of Gold (National Geographic)
For 30 days he faces the dangers that have killed many of his fellow miners—explosives, toxic gases, tunnel collapses—to extract the gold that the world demands. Apaza does all this, without pay, so that he can make it to today, the 31st day, when he and his fellow miners are given a single shift, four hours or maybe a little more, to haul out and keep as much rock as their weary shoulders can bear. Under the ancient lottery system that still prevails in the high Andes, known as the cachorreo, this is what passes for a paycheck: a sack of rocks that may contain a small fortune in gold or, far more often, very little at all.
Part 1 of 3 of a documentary on Rinconada.

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

If you find something wrong with my Spanish, please correct it!
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Old July 16, 2010, 11:54 PM
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Cheshire Cheshire is offline
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I have heard about this mine before, thanks for gathering so much info all together in one place about it. Truly sad to think that these conditions still exist, and worse that they have been going on for hundreds of years.

There is a film called The Devil's Miner (not sure the Spanish name) that documents the life of two very young boys (maybe 14?) who work in a mine in Bolivia. I recommend it if you're interested in the topic.
Corrections welcome!
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