Profiles of Various Dumpsites Throughout Nicaragua

This page and (essentially this website) acts as an archive of dumpsites throughout Nicaragua. Though they are all not shown below, a majority of the dumpsites in Nicaragua are illustrated here. Please note that the scenario surrounding dumpsites are in constant change. The basis of a story reported can change year to year, but the consistency is that the circular karma of open and unregulated trash dumps are almost inevitably do to repeat itself...unless people make a true and constant effort to change this. 

Here are a quick profile about each location: 

NUEVA VIDA dumpsite in Ciudad Sandino: Thousands of people lost their homes because of Hurricane Mitch flooded out their homes. This was generally all poor areas surrounding Managua Lake. They are relocated to a place to be known as Nueva Vida (New Life). Here they have come accustomed to recycling from the unregulated dumpsite next door. There you will find no supervision, burning trash, and children sharing the same area as a peanut farm. 

MASAYA dumpsite is a pretty large site of tall piles of trash with catacomb like paths in between. At the time I photographed there were lots of children working. Since then the mayor's office banned children form the dump. In my last visit, there was not one child to be found. This is certainly a positive change and made me think about the possibilities to stop children from entering dumps is to work with the local mayors office of the respective dumpsites areas. 

Chichigulpa is an open dump where I found many ex-sugarcane workers. Many men in this area work with the sugarcane industry. They work long hours in extreme hot weather for very little pay. The result is that they develop a condition known as Chronic Kidney Disease. People who are tested positive for this illness lose their jobs. Now being unable to work and extremely ill, men travel long distances to recycle garbage in place this this. 

Jinotega has a "temporary" dumping ground that is the edge of a cliff. Truck dump garbage off the edge and the heavy winds carry the garbage all over. Families, including children, climb down the cliff to recycle. This has attracted a squatting shanty community attached ti it nearby. 

Susuma dumpsite is located in Matagalpa. It is one of two open, unregulated sites. An interesting story I heard from the people here is that hospitals were dumping placentas and dead babies here. the local informal workers at the dump reported this and after the hospitals were required to burn all unwarned biological waste. This was happening for a period of time, but then it broke down and there was no funding to repair it and reports say they toss it off the cliff now. 

Chinandega dumpsite is adjacent to a cemetery. There is a poor community living next door that work there. They are in a low water stream area from a volcano. People go to the stream that runs alongside the dump in search for gold flakes. 

El Relleno dumpsite in Leon had a simple sorting plant, but the trash had caught fire and burned away everything with it, including the plant and the huge field of trash. 

Esteli dumpsites has a community living and working in the area. Many people camp out in the dump in little tents made with a blanket and two sticks in order to have first pick of the trash in the morning. There are a lot of horses in the this dump. 

Juajuali Arriba is the local nickname for the second dumpsite of Matagalpa. 

Camoapa Dumpsite is another open dumpsite where trash is thrown there. There are a few shanty houses living just by that work at the dumpsite. 

La Chureca (complete report below)

A Prison in Linda Vista (Managua, Nicaragua)

A woman is admitted to Linda Vista Police Station only 30 minutes prior for hitting her husband. 

In an attempt to keep informal recyclers out of La Chureca, police are sent to the dumpsite to arrest those who have trespassed the newly government owned area. There is also word that the police have shot at the informal recyclers to scare them out of the dump. When they are arrested they come to the prison in Linda Vista. They maybe spend a few nights until they are released and usually go back to the dump again. 

Gabriela Lopez had a difficult past living from La Chureca dumpsite in Managua, Nicaragua since she was a girl. She met her now husband at 13 years old and at 18 had two children. Both parents struggled with drinking during this time and it was affecting their life negatively. When Gabriela was offered a scholarship to learn English and when she accepted Jesus in her heart, things would change for the better in many ways. Faith and education were the building blocks for which would change her and a her husband’s life. Today she lives in a barrio called Villa Guadalupe, outside of La Chureca. Gabriela started to visit prisoners to send their message about redemption and the goodness of God. Her and her friends sing and pray to the inmates as they follow along. They also take time to hear their stories and pray closely together. At the end, the inmates are handed beverages or food made by the her church group. All the inmates joyfully accept their words, gifts, and prayers. Moments of laughter, silliness, craziness, sadness, regret, and gratefulness all take affect during this unique experience. You do not have to know Spanish or even believe in God to be moved by the powerful work they do to remind people that they are still human beings who deserve love, non-judgement and a second chance.