chureca

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“ You wouldn’t imagine what things you can find here! We recycle our whole life and trust me, we have seen it all. People are able to dump anything.”

“In general we are looking for scrap metals. Copper, aluminum and sometimes there is some bronze too. Most of us collect plastic and glass. Pulling out pieces of glass is the hardest job because you keep cutting your hands all day long … and it doesn’t worth so much. Maybe, from about 10-15 kilos, you could get a dinner in the downtown. We of course don’t worry about the food here, there are always some leftovers.”

What’s the craziest thing you have found?

“Huh … one day I found a finger with a ring on it.”


“Cuando hay suerte a veces encontramos cosas que uno ni se puede imaginar. Llevamos reciclando toda la vida y vimos todo la verdad. La gente tira cualquier cosa.”

“En general lo más valorable son los metales. El cobre, aluminio y a veces hay bronce también. La mayoría saca los plásticos y al final vidrio. Sacar el vidrio es lo que da la menos gracia porque uno se va cortando las manos todo el día … y tampoco vale mucho … de unos 10 - 15 kilos le alcanza para una cena normal en el centro. Pero igual todos comemos acá, restos de comida siempre hay.”

Que es lo más loco que han encontrado?

“Jaja … un día encontré un dedo con un anillo encima.”


- met them in Managua [ NICARAGUA ]

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This is really sad </3

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Finished my postcard design for La Chureca, #Nicaragua : As I mentioned a while back, I was asked by The Earth Education Project to design a greeting card for their efforts helping the women and children of La Chureca in Nicaragua. I was to

create an image for their occasions collection and one card that they’re always asked if they have is the ‘new home’ card. The design would also need to be accompanied by a step by step guide on how to draw it so the women can learn to do so easily and help them reproduce the design in Nicaragua on metal (hojalata). I did my house freehand, incorporating my palette knife and drip technique and was inspired by a Marimba song entitled “Casita Sola.” I’m pretty psyched about this, I hope the ladies like it.

“My name is Reina Isabel. I was born here in La Chureca 31 years ago and I have tuberculosis.”

“Me llamo Reina Isabel, nací acá en La Chureca hace 31 años y sufro de tuberculosis.”

- met her in Managua [ NICARAGUA ]

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Official trailer of the new documentary BY MY SIDE [A MI LADO] about three young women living in the Chureca, the huge garbage dump of Managua in Nicaragua. For more information: http://www.bymysidefilm.com

Cuando salí del infierno

Cuando salí del infierno

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No hubo piedad.  El terremoto sobre la ciudad de Managua,  en el año 1973, cimentó uno de los infiernos sociales y humanos más importantes de las últimas cuatro décadas. Allí residieron dos mil personas con la esperanza de colgar el gancho algún día; un inseparable utensilio con el que rebuscar entre los desechos alguna pieza de metal con la que poder sacar unos pocos córdobas (nombre de la…

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I will be collaborating with Photographer Timothy Bouldry to create a mural and message about the community living at La Chureca, Nicaragua. We’re asking La Chureca’s children to write down what their dreams and aspirations are. A large scale mural will be created with the actual letters from the children which will be installed back in Nicaragua. It’s stands as a message to inspire the children and create a more positive image of the community at La Chureca. To learn more about Timothy Bouldry’s work in La Chureca and this project visit:
http://www.timothybouldry.com/www.timothybouldry.com/Cover_Page.html

Several years ago, around this time of the year we decided with some friends to meet some people on a large waste disposal site. Please don’t be offended by the reality of some posts this week.

Hace unos años, en esta época del año con unos amigos decidimos a conocer unos recicladores en un gran vertedero de residuos. Por favor, no se ofenden por la realidad de algunos posts, solo esta semana.


- met them in Managua [ NICARAGUA ]

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Watch the trailer of By My Side [A Mi Lado], the award-winning documentary about 3 young women living in the dump of Managua. ©Jean-Cosme Delaloye, 2012

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Timothy Bouldry Channel 12 News Interview Nicaragua

Timothy Bouldry gives an interview with Channel 12 News in Nicaragua regarding his show “La Verdad Sin Cortina,” a solo show in Managua where he …

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It’s the World Environment Day today. Check out the trailer of the new documentary By My Side, shot in La Chureca, the largest landfill in Latin America. For more information: http://www.bymysidefilm.com

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Trailer of the award-winning #documentary #film By My Side [A Mi Lado] that will be available on June 23 on iTunes in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

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Trailer of By My Side [A Mi Lado], winner of best Central American documentary at Icaro Film Festival in Guatemala. 

El Callejon de la Muerte - Death Lane

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Dominga has been homeless all her life. Before living in the Chureca, she hung out with youth gangs in the largest market of Managua. In the Nicaraguan capital, everybody knows el “Callejon de la Muerte”, a lane next to one of the busiest intersections of the market, that belongs to prostitutes and drug dealers. When we arrived there one Saturday morning, the women quickly went into their wooden shacks. And the few men disappeared as well, when they saw the camera. After talking to one woman, who had stayed on the street with her child, a few women slowly came out again and started to share their stories off camera.

Sex in the Death Lane is cheap, extremely cheap. These women will sell their body in their tiny shack for about $4. A lot of them have children hanging out on the street and waiting for their mothers to be done with their customers. The women have spent years in that place, sharing the lane with men who mostly sell glue, the cheapest drug in Managua. In the lane of death, everything is for sale. You can also find cheap bootleg CDs and DVDs, toothpaste, cellphone covers. But sex and glue are definitely the main trades there. For $1, you can get a full container of glue, enough to get you high for a few days.

It was also really interesting to see how calm the lane is in the middle of a busy market. Some people - mostly men - walk by, but most people avoid this place. Edelmira Lopez, the associate producer of By My Side, Nicolas Garcia, the director of photography, and I spent quite some time with the two ladies you can see in this video as they talked about the life in the market. Dominga had left it, because she says people were giving her a hard time for sniffing glue. And that is partly why she ended up in the Chureca, the Managua city dump.

Dead fetus

You see a lot of things in La Chureca. Virtually everything gets dumped there: syringes, packs of blood, dead horses. Some days it stinks, some days it’s muddy, some days it’s full of smoke. You never know what to expect, when you drive down the road that leads into the dump and then walk up onto the pile of trash. During the shoot of By My Side in 2011, Alba Rosa, Maryuri’s mother, kept talking about her dream to find a golden watch in the trash one day, so that she could sell it and buy a house. After 36 years in the Chureca, she still hasn’t been able to find one.

A Churequero called Juan Carlos, according to El Nuevo Diario, found something extremely troubling in 2009 in the Chureca: a dead fetus. The Nicaraguan daily decided this week to run again the  picture of the man showing the fetus in a box to illustrate a story on the abortion ban in Nicaragua. As a journalist, you get used to seeing terrible things. The earthquake in Haiti was something I will never be able to forget. But the sight of this fetus was deeply troubling. When you are in the Chureca every day for weeks, you start getting used to seeing dead dogs around. And when you spend months editing a film and looking over and over again at the same image of Dominga eating from the trash, you tend to forget the impact of an image like this. The picture of the dead fetus kind of took me by surprise today. And it brought the Chureca back.

Rain in the Chureca

The first time I got to Chureca in February 2011, there was smoke everywhere. It was spectacular, almost beautiful.

When we shot By My Side in October, it was raining all the time. Each day the Churequeros knew they would have to spend their day of work soaked and in the mud. We saw children walking barefoot in the mud and in the trash. Water was coming through the holes in the roof of the houses in Chureca. Imagine being wet all the time. Blankets, clothes, old mattresses, dirt floors: everything was humid every single day. People put plastic on their old television sets to try to protect them from the water. When I asked Dominga, one of the main participants of the documentary, whether she preferred the dry months with the smoke that makes it hard for her to breathe or the rain season, she replied without hesitation that she preferred the dry months.