Thomas Nybo, UNICEF
POTOSÍ, Bolivia, (June 14, 2011) — Thirteen-year-old Agustin’s life revolves around mining. He lives in a shack right outside the entrance to a mine shaft at the famous Cerro Rico mine in the city of Potosí, where he worked two hard years digging for ore from the age of nine.
UNICEF’s Thomas Nybo reports on young Bolivian children working in one of the most dangerous mines in the world.
Back then, the older miners would only pay him the equivalent of $3 per day, so he quit and now leads tours of the mine instead.
Cerro Rico, which means ‘rich mountain’, has been called one of the most dangerous mines in the world. It’s been in operation for more than 400 years, and once held the richest supply of silver in the Americas.
“There aren’t too many children working here – it’s too dangerous,” Agustin says. “To get the minerals here, you need to go deep into the mine. Most kids work in mines that are less deep and easier.”