Cerro Rico, the mine that funded the entire Spanish empire during the colonial period in Latin America, is the heart of the thriving city of Potosi. During our stay in the highest city in the world, we learned about the harsh conditions of the mines and experienced a small glimpse of the mines ourselves. Our guide, an ex-miner himself, shared his experiences hauling 10 tons of stone a day out of the mines to provide enough money for his family. We also visited a treatment facility in which the rubble is stripped of precious minerals and other stones. Our experience in Cerro Rico was eye opening and extraordinarily humbling.
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