Originally posted on Friends of Batahola Volunteers:

Basura…trash…was one of the first impressions I had of Nicaragua, an ironic juxtaposition to the rich beauty of this land.

Dumps like this are found in most Nicaraguan cities, with the largest one in Managua. This is a photo of the dump in Jinotepe. Back behind the trees there is a small community of people who live in shack-houses, and sort through the garbage looking for recyclable materials that can be sold. Around 1,500 people live and work in “La Chureca”, the dump in Managua. Unemployment is extremely high, along with drug use and prostitution. There are elementary and middle-schools, but youth have to travel outside La Chureca to attend high school, if they are lucky. Discrimination of people who live in the dump is a huge barrier.

I have visited La Chureca twice, both times accompanied by long-term volunteers who work in NGOs located within the premises (the

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is a renowned expert in waste management, renewable energy and sustainable development. He is the Founder of EcoMENA, a Doha-based organization meant to promote sustainable development and create environmental awareness in MENA countries. Salman possesses Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from Aligarh Muslim University (Aligarh, India) and has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects, mainly in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy and solid waste management. Salman is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on clean energy technologies and waste management systems through his websites, blogs and articles. He has participated in various international conferences as session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is a prolific writer and has authored numerous articles in reputed journals, magazines and newsletters on renewable energy and environmental issues. He is based in India and can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@ecomena.org

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