Today we saw the Guatemala City garbage dump, the main dump for the capital of Guatemala. The garbage dump is about as large as 24 football fields put together. We viewed the dump from a cemetery above the valley, it was a chaotic site. Garbage trucks moved in and out and people flowed like water in a stream, trying to find treasure in the trash. Vultures circled, seemingly to mock the poor people who had to sort through garbage just to make a living. The birds rested on the ground, in trees, and feasted on anything they found.
The smell was horrendous, a sickening smell like old compost or rotting eggs. The ground was littered with piles of garbage that seemed to multiply in just the few minutes we watched. People raced to the newest trucks in hope of finding something valuable, others simply tried to find what people may have not seen in hopes of finding a hidden gem. These were the people who had been kicked to the bottom or even kicked out, they could not escape and were destined to stay here digging in the dirt and acting like a pack of starved wolves.
The Guatemala City dump is a sad place full of people who can’t find opportunity elsewhere. The sight of so many poor, homeless, pathetic people is saddening and it’s hard to look past how unfair it is. It was almost overwhelming to stand there and have so much more than these people, what must they have gone through to be forced to do this? How could they continue to live like this? It gave off a feeling foreboding as if this was what would happen if you didn’t succeed, it made you want to turn away and run.
One thought on “Thoughts on the Guatemala City dump”
Ethan, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I had that experience when I grew up in an underdeveloped country with poor people like that. It affected my attitude towards spending and putting needs in perspective. That is why people from these countries want to go to the USA to find better opportunities. They can then help others climb out of the hole after they have succeeded. ¡Vaya con Dios!