Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/04/30

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Subject: [Leica] Kids on the Dump images-Nicaragua/Guatemala
From: "Tim Atherton" <>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 17:25:25 -0600

Hi all luggers

Tina is working with a project in Guatemala City where photojournalist Nancy
McGirr (I think??) works with children who live and work on the city
dump/landfill. The do photography, writing and other creative projects.

Last year I was in Nicaragua and spent a short time with the people who live
on Managua's dump.

All the people in the images on the web site live and work on the dump -
their homes are actually built on there. Adults and their working children
forage on the dump for a subsistence living, looking for food and for items
they can sell. Many fish from the edge of the dump, where it topples into
Lake Managua - known for the toxic chemicals dumped there from battery
manufacturing plants and other industry. Many of the houses were flooded out
when the lake rose during Hurricane Mitch. Some families were "relocated" by
the city to an emergency camp beyond the outskirts of the city, where there
is no work, not even the foraging available on the dump.

There is no formal schooling or anything else for the children and families.
A Nicaraguan agency - Dos Generaciones, supported by a number of
international agencies - runs a small school and provides a simple medical
clinic for the children and families. They also run courses for older
children on social development, self esteem, health/AIDS and other such
areas. Most of the children are sick in some way or other - mild
malnutrition, sores, infections of one sort or another, parasites, infected
cuts, substance addictions (mainly glue and alcohol)...

I did not visit the project Tina is working with in Guatemala, but from
images I have seen, and reading the book produced by the project, the
conditions appear to be pretty similar. For those who have started
supporting or are thinking of support the Guatemala Project, I thought these
images may give an idea of what it is you are supporting.

My experience last year was that anything that helps such children develop
emotionally and mentally (creativity, writing skills, communication skills,
showing them their lives are not worthless and so on), is immensely

NOTE, the site is very rough and ready and the images were drawn from scans
for another project and didn't convert well to web use (i.e. the images look
much better out of cyberspace). So, no digs about the technical quality of
the images :)

Tim A