The Life of One Wastepicker in Bluefields, Nicaragua
Digital story credit: Maria Cassidy, MIT Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Class of 2014
The following story is about Bernarda Pastora, a wastepicker in Bluefields, Nicaragua, and her experience raising children next to the dumpsite outside of town. The story was created and edited by Maria Cassidy, an MIT Environmental Engineering undergraduate student who participated in the trip through grant funding awarded to her by MIT’s Public Service Center. Maria, who also has her own environmental radio show, worked closely with the wastepickers, D-Lab Waste Instructor Libby McDonald, and project organizers to portray intimate aspects of their lives. Libby McDonald gave children living near the dump site cameras and asked them to take photos of important aspects of their lives. This digital story features the children’s photos.
This post is the third installment in a series about leveraging waste management as a means for social and economic development in Bluefields. MIT students are currently working on enterprise development projects in three areas: composting, recycling, and anaerobic digestion. This project is part of an ongoing partnership between MIT D-Lab Waste and CoLab, the City of Bluefields, United Nations Development Programme, and blueEnergy.
Ivette C. Luna, a student in the course, interviews a wastepicker. Photo Credit: Drew Pierson