A scavenger woman's life in the highest town in the world
Meet the women who are picking gold 16,000 feet up
La Rinconada in the Peruvian Andes is the highest permanently inhabited settlement in the world, and one of the hardest places to inhabit, too. The promise of gold drew men in for decades, forming a shanty town thousands of feet above sea level with their families, but the living conditions are a far cry from fortune.
The women of the town, forbidden from entering the mines, have grown tired of waiting for support from men, and quite literally took their livelihood into their own hands, however arduous it may be. These women, known as “pallaqueras,” are fighting for a better life, while battling gender disparity, the pressures of a sub-zero, high-altitude climate, and back-breaking work with meager pay—but they’re doing it. Click through to get a glimpse at this life, which is certainly not for the faint of heart.
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