A Weekly Journal Chronicling My Life
As It Intersects With The Garbage Dump Community Near La Ceiba, Honduras

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And Now For The Tragedy In Photo

The following then is a bit of a photographic history of the two intertwined stories that I wrote about on Tuesday. If you haven't yet read Tuesday's post I would encourage you to do so so that you'll better appreciate the photos here. The first set of photos are related to the recycling co-op and the second set to the dumping situation. Enjoy...no that's not right, get righteously angry.

ok this first foto is from last february before the new rule went into effect - notice the ample space and amounts of recyclables (this was a slow day)

working in a sea of plastic

this now is from august after the rule went into effect

not much in the way of work

this is chana, she's the leader of the co-op. this was taken september 30th after the co-op had relocated to the gutter.

because of space the plastics business is all but gone, they work mostly in metals now.

conveniently enough, the co-op buys the metal and the sells some of it to this man on the other side of the road who makes them into grills.

my close friend soplo, still working.
Ok, now we move on to the garbage dump situation.

ok, in the foreground lies the residencial area of laureles. in the middle lies that green space with our soccer field to the left and the behind lies the actual dump. this foto is obsolete as it was taken last december and everything has changed since then.
work began on the green space the first week of september. at first no one except the governing council knew that soon they'd be dumping trash here. we all thought they were just going to level it all out and make the soccer fild they had promised.
if they had left it this way i wouldn't be writing...this would have worked perfectly for a playing field.

a few days later the garbage company set up shop on our doorstep and began dumping trash. here chiro is playing 10 feet away from a new landfill.

notice how close the trash comes to our building....they also use this to feed children, at least they did.

this is after 5 weeks.

quite a change

the idea is to mix trash and dirt and then level it all off

you can see how it begins to grow and how it might cause some problems

in the middle of all this the mayor, congressman and representatives from the world bank showed up to trumpet their plans for the model community

world bank reps

the schoolchildren lined up to greet our distinguished guests

the boys too

thi is the former president and current vice president of the community. he is the brains and the real mover behind the whole operation (the president is a puppet and not terribly bright)

our benevolent mayor

distinguished congressman

the world bank's head man in honduras (an american i believe)

the children also sang the national anthem for the attendees

pichol looks out over the wasteland, notice the lovely black pools of liquid death that periodically wash down into the community

grabbing a snack

a pichol-less shot of the toxin

one nice thing about the dump being so close at hand now is that when we have trash to throw away we just step off the porch and toss it over onto the other side of the road

this now is mid-october...notice how much it has grown and continues unabated

a close-up
for those of you familiar with the area, this is from the stairs

and this is from yesterday. that black swath is uprooted trash that they're mixing in with the dirt

look how high it has grown, where once we had a clear view of the entire building on the other side we can now barely see the roof. and this is just from the side, standing below it is over 50 feet high now.
That's all I have, please pray for us here.

2 comments:

Nancy Marshall said...

Matt,
It's horrible. It's a tragedy, It's a health hazard, and it's an injustice. Who is a voice for the people of Laureles? I'm wondering how dangerous it would be for you to express your view of the injustice to the man at the top...the American in the photo... from the World Bank? Would it be a death threat? Would it help? The people whoa re supposed to represent the interests of the community at Laureles are not representing their interests (mayor, council) What used to be green is a toxic sludge leaking trash heap. You have the photos to show what's happened. Who could pick this up and make a difference? You? Is this your role? Who else, or who else in tandem with you? I'm so sad about the soccer field, and the view...but the homes below, argh! that's even worse. It must be painful to watch this happening. What options do you have?

You are right that the two issues are joined in that if the people were allowed to make money on the reclyclables then they would not only be more self-sufficient...but they are reducing the amount of stuff that goes into a landfill that is filling up. So the two are to be addressed together even if the World Bank people don't know about the first issue.

Hmm yuck! I hate to be confrontative... I think you do, too. What would Jesus do? I don't know. I'm praying you find the answers and the wisdom you need.
I will commit to praying about this. (ha... I just keep imagining AC 360 from CNN coming in and doing interviews and a filming unannounced... just exposing the whole thing...but the way to make change happen is not through subterfuge...It has to happen through the channels that are there. World Bank could withdraw their money unless cetain things are met. That might be the "hope". Anyway. I am praying and I ask God to give you courage and his wisdom.
With love,
Nancy

Galen and Phyllis Groff said...

Where is the soccer field now?
This is heart breaking and so unhealthy! Who can speak?