The mines in Siglo XX opened in 1900, attracting thousands of workers from all over. But, the market went slowly down and in 1986 the government (the mine was nationalized in 1952), had to close down the mine all together. The miners didn’t accept this decision and formed cooperatives to be able to continue working. Nowadays about 5000 miners work again in the mine attracted by the high tin price.
At an altitude of 4000 metres, in a mine with temperatures up to 50 degrees, no elevators, no electricity and all manual labour; the work is dangerous and life expectancy is no higher then 45 years.
This story is part of Via Panam, Kadir van Lohuizen’s project about migration in the Americas.