Waste Management in Nicaragua

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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