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La Chureca: “The nearest thing to hell”

Friday, 19 September, 2008

The Santa Rosa Fund has recently begun to support an educational project on Managua’s waste dump – La Chureca. The Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign (Wales NSC) has launched an appeal to support the Los Quinchos Centre which is based inside the dump. The following brief extracts from Wales NSC Newsletter explain some of the background and needs of the project.

“With over 70 per cent of its people living in poverty in Nicaragua, it’s hard to imagine how things could be worse. But life for the residents of Managua’s dump, La Chureca, is the nearest thing to hell. They live and work on a rubbish dump which serves Managua’s one million people. 3,000 people, including children as young as two years old, scrape a living every day, scavenging through the rubbish,

The Los Quinchos Centre, inside the dump, provides a place of refuge for 30 or 40 children. They get lessons, a hot lunch, and social support. For those with no family at all, the Centre provides somewhere for them to sleep before they start work again the next morning.

In the long term the Municipal Authority has committed itself to tackling the horrendous problems the residents and workers of La Chureca face. In the meantime, the Wales NSC has launched an appeal to support the Centre for the next two years. They need to raise £300 a month for the Centre, to pay for the salaries of the staff who work with the children – a coordinator, a teacher, two vocational instructors, a cook, a nurse and a nightwatchman. In total the appeal is for over £7,000 and reflects the level of need in such dire circumstances.

Initially in 2007, the Santa Rosa Fund donated £200 to the Wales NSC Appeal, but has recently sent another £200. Pending a visit of our trustees or representatives to the Los Quinchos Centre, the Fund may decide to donate more to this needy cause in the future.

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