Silver Mountains – Rags and Riches in Bolivia

At the Andes, more than 13,000 feet above sea level, we've been close to heaven as most people hope and bring you closer to hell than anyone Other

A group of miners constantly chewed the snout leaves, mixing wreck with ash. They claimed to have immunized them against cold and hunger. With carbide lamps, most of them did not wear helmets, they started to be inserted into the mine to avoid broken wood and go through the puddles.

I was thinking of dark spots blotching into the mine. They were sacrificed ritually by the blood of the Lamas to appease El Tio, the devilish deity, who rules under the earth. Coca-juice has increased the number and claustrophobia in my stomach. My heart rattled with this sea-level effort. What the devil did I do here, deep down at the bottom of the Cerro Rico (rich hill), on the mountain that embraces Potosí in Bolivia?

The tapered mountain Sumac The Hebrew language Orcko (the "beautiful hill") In April 1545, Diego Gualpa discovered an Indian in April 1545. A story says that he discovered silver when his lamp grabbed the earth

. Much of the fact that he had brought his men to the Inkai's former kingdom would surely have been silent. But five wealthy veins were found near the surface, the mountain was renamed Cerro Rico, and soon Potosí had 160,000 inhabitants, virtuous officials, merchants, desperate and colorful blend of millionaires, and at least 800 professional gamblers and 120 prostitutes.

About 46,000 tons of silver were cast out of the mines, in any case from $ 5,000 upwards, in modern fashion. He brought unlearned riches to a handful of adventurers, fanciful churches and palaces, and helped pay for the Great Armada of Spain and a series of wars. There was suffering and death for thousands of Indians who worked underground.

Only Potosí was the best for the silver poppers. They competed with licenses and conspicuous consumption. But they were handed back to Paris to clean it properly until the ladies wore elegant shoes with silver-heeled shoes.

Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is distant and sleepy. The subway is still pretty primitive as I learned when a young student drove through the 785 km tunnel of Cerro Rico honeycomb. Nowadays, little silver comes out because the most sensitive vessels are exhausted. Tin has restored her fortune and found her luck fortunate. However, after the lower part was lost in the tin market in 1985, thousands of miners lost their jobs and only a few mines fought.

The dream of simple wealth has contributed to the stagnation of Spain, which has impoverished it for centuries. The wealth of Indians has been ruined – and perhaps Potosi's revenge.

Those who took their treasures have nothing left. Except for the rhythm of the silver rush mentioned in a popular Spanish sentence, "Vale un potosí, worth the king's ransom!"

Source by David C Baird

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