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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble
La Rinconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
30 Jan 2013

La Rinconada was a nice, quiet rural village in Peru’s Los Andes range twenty years ago. However, the economic crisis in the country and the discovery of gold changed the town completely during the nineties. Now, it is a crowded place where thousands of the poor from all over South America frequently immigrate looking for opportunity. The precious metal has transformed La Rinconada into a chaotic village of nearly 50,000 inhabitants (four times more than the past) with a serious lack of social services. The increase in the price of gold (25% last year and 600% in ten years) has pushed many more people to move up there. But gold is also an economic bubble that Rinconada has experienced, likely to deflate at any time (right now its price is experiencing a significant drop).
Nowadays, the landscape in La Rinconada is full of metallic shelters built without official permits. There is no pavement, sewers and running water. It is full of rubbish and defecation everywhere. It is now a place with serious problems of alcoholism, drugs and crime. The police is nearly absent and illegal prostitution is always present. The use of mercury to separate gold from rock has created a high level of pollution that provokes aggressiveness among the population. This, added to the fact that La Rinconada is about 6,000 meters altitude, causes also breath sicknesses (especially among children) and the local clinic covers just 10% of the needs. Despite some apparent efforts of the local administration, the situation is getting worse year by year.
Apart from a minority of entrepreneurs, mining families are under some terrible conditions of life and work and they invest their profits in the consumption of alcohol and, mainly, in buying expensive clothes for Carnival or annual holidays in their original villages. Most of the residents in La Rinconada are from the rural areas in Peru and Bolivia, without saving plans, so they will continue to go up to La Rinconada for more and more gold. At least, until the bubble will burst.
Photo collection by Albert González Farran.
View more photos: http://www.transterramedia.com/users/1696

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 18
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
24 Jan 2013

Cerro Lunar: Vanesa Canesa is photographed with her daughter Ana Paula in front of their little house, made with stones and "calamina" (metal layer), in Cerro Lunar, Ananea, Peru. Vanesa is a miner's wife and she used to support her husband working on "Pallaqueo" (collecting stones thrown from the mines looking for gold) and now she quit due to health reasons.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 20
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
23 Jan 2013

Left to right, Lucy Callpacruz and Norma Quispe (with her two children Eduardo Cristian and Chantal Ochoqui), both miner's wives, are pictured in their little house made with "calamina" (metal layer) in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru. Lucy has nine children and she is from Putina. From time to time, Lucy and Norma support their husbands working as "Pallaqueos" (selecting stones from the mine dumps looking for gold).

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 25
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) is pictured at work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 3
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) is pictured at work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 8
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) is pictured at work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 4
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps) prepares a shot of an alcoholic drink during a break in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

17 January 2013. La Rinconada: A group of miners in a security check-point inside a goldmine in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru, are waiting their turn to work.
La Rinconada was a nice, quiet rural village in Peru’s Los Andes range twenty years ago. However, the economic crisis in the country and the discovery of gold changed the town completely during the nineties. Now, it is a crowded place where thousands of the poor from all over South America frequently immigrate looking for opportunity. The precious metal has transformed La Rinconada into a chaotic village of nearly 50,000 inhabitants (four times more than the past) with a serious lack of social services. The increase in the price of gold (25% last year and 600% in ten years) has pushed many more people to move up there.
Nowadays, the landscape in La Rinconada is full of metallic shelters built without official permits. There is no pavement, sewers and running water. It is full of rubbish and defecation everywhere. It is now a place with serious problems of alcoholism, drugs and crime. The police is nearly absent and illegal prostitution is always present. The use of mercury to separate gold from rock has created a high level of pollution that provokes aggressiveness among the population. This, added to the fact that La Rinconada is about 6,000 meters altitude, causes also breath sicknesses (especially among children) and the local clinic covers just 10% of the needs. Despite some apparent efforts of the local administration, the situation is getting worse year by year.
Photo by Albert González Farran.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 2
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

La Rinconada: "Pallaqueras" (women who select stones from the mine dumps) go to work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 7
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) inspects some stones in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 26
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps) takes her selection back home at the end of the workday in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 17
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

Two "Pallaqueras" (women who select stones from the mine dumps) takes their selection back home at the end of the workday in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 21
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
13 Jan 2013

People play football under the snow in a neighborhood in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 11
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
29 Sep 2009

29 September 2009. Two miners drive stones wagons to the mine dumps in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 10
La Rinconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
29 Sep 2009

Pallaqueras (women who select stones from the mine mines looking for remains of gold) are pictured during their work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 10
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
29 Sep 2009

29 September 2009. Pallaqueras (women who select stones from the mine mines looking for remains of gold) are pictured during their work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.