Thursday, April 30, 2009

Safe Passage

While in Guatemala, we visited an organization called Safe Passage, or ¨Camino Seguro." Approximately 2,000 people scavenge in Guatemala City´s dumps, plucking out materials for sale or reuse. The working conditions are unsavory to say the least: the dump, which we looked at from afar, is smelly and dangerous. Safe Passage, started in 1999, provides social services -- food and educational support -- to the children of the families that work in the dumps.

Our tour guide, Freddy, said that approximately 60% of the 7,000 tons of waste tipped daily in the Guatemala City dump is gleaned out and recycled. If this is true, Guatemala City has one of the highest recycling rates of the world! (I want to see some numbers.)

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