Potosi, Bolivia

6 May 2004 2:36 pm

Shrine to the devil, lord of the underworld

These young guys are 16 and 17 years old. They seemed very proud to have jobs.

Potosi is COLD (like the rest of Bolivia) but not such a bad town. At once time Potosi was a large and wealthy city because of the mine, so beautiful colonial architecture remains. Unfortunately we didn’t heed the advice of other travelers and went with a short tour of the mines which ended up to be disapointing. Still, we got into the mines for 3 hours, met miners and gave them gifts of orange pop and coca leaves which they seemed to really enjoy. Following our guide, we climbed up flights and flights inside the mine on rickety laders, crawled through small spaces in the dirty darkness. We watched the miners drill holes for dynamite, a tough procedure requiring in impressive level of teamwork. Later, just before quiting time, we watched them light the fuses and then ran. As we ran away we were pushed forward by the blast – a little scary to feel propelled forward by an explosion, but certainly the best part of the day.

Lighting 13 sticks of dynamite

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