silver mine - potosí (bolivia)

The Candelaria mine is one of the oldest silver mines of Potosí, and it has been active for more than 200 years.­

But the rich silver ore veins are long gone, and the remaining ore contains less than 15% of silver and various other metals.­

Working in mines like this one is probably one of the worst job on earth.­ The air is thin because of the high altitude, and in the mine, the air is very bad, loaded with thick rock dust and chemical fumes from blasted dynamite.­ It is hot and cramped, the galleries are narrow, steep, dangerous, poorly maintained and often cave in.­ there is no electricity, no water, no ventilation, no safety or communication equipment, and most of the work is done with manual tools (picks, hammers, wheelbarrow).­

After spending a few hours in this mine, just walking around and taking photos, I was drained and I just wanted out.­