Geography Education
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Dangerous work

Dangerous work | Geography Education |
In Guatemala City, a place called "The Mine" can deliver both a means of survival and a grisly death. Every day, dozens of residents salvage a living by scouring the massive dump for scrap metal.


This thanksgiving I'd like to discuss one of my goals in teaching a geography course in the developed world. I hope to cultivate a sense of thanksgiving and gratitude for the many good things that are easy to take for granted. Balanced with that, I try to teach that economic disparities are NOT a function of moral, mental or physical superiority.  Therefore I try to instill a sense of thankfulness that does not become boastfulness or entitlement--hopefully that ethos will infuse this day's festivities. Happy Thanksgiving!

sdion's comment, January 30, 2012 2:23 PM
makes me thankful for the jobs i have. i also wonder what the health side effects are of working in these locations. are the workers experiencing shorter life spans or anything like that?
Cam E's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:28 PM

As someone who has scoured dumps for things before, this sounds like no fun at all! You can find a lot of cool things that are left at dumps, but this doesn't even begin to compare to what they're facing at "The Mine". The smell and possible injuries must be overwhelming. If left untreated, a cut from anything in one of these places could prove fatal.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, February 12, 6:12 PM

Looking at this situation made me really sad, and made me realize that we take a lot for granted.  Here I am, sitting in a comfy chair, using my thousand dollar Macbook, and these people are risking their lives just to make $20.  They risk everything, in any weather, just for the possibility of finding something that they can sell to support their families, and these are the things no one thinks about.  This isn't to say that anyone's "bad situation" isn't bad for them personally, but this is unbelievable to me.  

Geography Education
Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over.
Curated by Seth Dixon