Friday, April 16, 2010

Transforming Chureca

Managua's municipal dump, La Chureca, has sat on the shore of Lake Managua since 1973. Each of those 37 years has seen the refuse pile and conditions worsen... until now.

In August 2007 María Teresa Fernández, the Vice President of Spain, was so moved by a visit to Chureca that she committed US$45 million to transform, in her words, "garbage to human dignity." After an extended legal battle with Chureca's owners over purchasing the property, we are finally seeing action.

The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI) has partnered with Managua's mayorship to enact a sweeping plan to transform Chureca. The plan will cover the trash, creating a landfill. More impressively, though, a recycling plant will be built, which will employ 2,000 workers living in Chureca. New homes will be built, a bit farther from the landfill, and families will be moved out of the slums adjacent to the trash.

For more information about the AECI program, read The "New" Chureca.

Dirt movers are now a common sight, pushing mounds of dirt over the trash

Project workers (in construction vests) rest as tractors clear a space for new homes (background)

Temporary houses have been built for families living too close to construction

Chureca from a nearby vantage point

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