Residents of the village of La Rinconada literally live in heaven. However, owning a home at a height of 5 km above sea level isn't always easy to live.
La Rinconada — Peruvian town. The settlement is located in the Andes, near the border with Bolivia. Most of the time the temperature in the city is not greater than 0° C. The entire village is home to about 50,000 people. Residents are due to work in the gold mines, which are not regulated by the government.
Photographer Walker Davidson did a series of photographs about life in the clouds, which actually turned out to be very severe.
La Rinconada is one of the most isolated settlements in the world.
The settlement was founded at the altitude of 5100 meters above sea level and exist in the shadows of Bella Durmiente or Sleeping Beauty — a huge glacier, towering over the city.
The settlement is only one trail, covered with dirt, rocks, and grass. Most of the time the road is frozen, and the way to La Akonadi may take a few days.
In a city without hotels and hospitals, not often meet tourists. Moreover, the government little concerned about what is happening in La Raconada.
The people are quite poor existence and survive due to unregulated reserves of gold, hidden in the bowels of the mountain peaks.
Between 2001 and 2009, the price of gold increased by 235%. Together with the price of the metal rose and the population of the village up to 30 000 people. Given the fact that resources are not yet over, the population is growing, and today its population is around 50,000 people.
The majority of the population consists of optimistic Peruvians, who decided to get rich, working in the gold mines. The miners here not receive a standard salary, but may qualify for all the gold that you will find on the last day of the month.
Gold reserves were mined in the Andes for centuries, ever since the settlement of the Incas. Daily workers spend half an hour on the rise to the mines, where faced with terrible working conditions: oxygen in the mines is not enough, and the workers breathing air with a high content of mercury and cyanide.
Women are forbidden to enter the mines, so they work outside. This woman makes the metal parts, which serve as the framework for tunnels.
The founders of the city were actually created a camp for miners and it is not assumed that the population will increase to such a level. That is why the infrastructure of the village is not suitable for life.
Near the settlement there are no natural sources of water, which makes it impossible to create a sewer system. Garbage disposal also lies on the shoulders of citizens.
Some people burn trash, others simply endure for the border of the city.
And someone throws garbage on the street.
The absolute lack of proper sanitation facilities means land in the village contains a huge percentage of mercury. This leads to diseases of the locals: problems with the nervous system, as well as itching, burning and discoloration of the skin.
In his spare time, local content with traditional entertainment or meet in a cafe, built for the miners. In this photo the young people playing football on a patch of land, located near the mines.
The lake, which is visible on this photo, is heavily polluted with mercury and cyanide, so the water is unsuitable for drinking or household use.
After his journey to La Ricondo the photographer said that the city — a striking example of how far people can go in search of riches and a better life.