14 Amazing pics of La Rinconada, the highest town in the world where people die slowly

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More than 50,000 people live in the settlement located atop the highest part of mount Ananea in the Peruvian Andes, from where it is forced to endure sub-zero temperatures most of the year.

Find out how it is to live in one of the hardest places on Earth, thanks to the magnificent photographs of Walker Dawson:

Built under the skirt of the glacier, the “Sleeping Beauty“, amounting to 5,300 meters of altitude rises La Rinconada, one of the most isolated populations in the world.

14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
You can only access the city by a narrow road full of grass, ice, and rocks on a trip that can last several days.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
Tourists avoid this city because there are no hotels or hospitals and the government intervention is nearly non-existent.

On the other hand, the air that is breathed in The Rinconada is very detrimental to an outsider as it is hard to breathe.

14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
To a height so great, the air is dangerously poor. Any person begins to feel the evil of height at about 3,000 meters, however, the residents of La Rinconada have adapted to the harsh conditions.

The city is extremely humble. The city’s economy is based almost entirely on the gold mines which are not regulated, excavated on the slopes of the mountain, which are filled with hazardous gases, mercury, and cyanide.

14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
Between 2001 and 2009, the price of gold went up by 235%. As the price soared, so did the population reaching 30,000 people. Seeing that the price of gold only seems to go up, the population now exceeds 50,000 people.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
A large part of the population is consists of optimistic Peruvian who had hoped to become rich from the gold mines. However, the majority of them do not receive any monthly salary. In return, they can claim the gold found on the last day of the month. If you do not find anything, no pay for your work.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
Gold has been extracted from the Andes for centuries. The mining activity dates back to the Incas.

Women are not allowed to work in the mines so that they stay in the village doing chores or crafts such as the creation of the pieces of metal necessary for shoring up the tunnels.

14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
The founders of what began as a small mining camp never imagined that the population would grow the way that it has done so as a result, the infrastructure is almost non-existent.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
The city does not have running water, and the construction of a sewer system has been impossible so that each person is responsible for disposing of their own waste.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
Some people choose to burn their garbage or bury it outside the city.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
Others just throw it out where ever there’s space.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
The lack of sanitation and mining activities not regulated, causes many residents to suffer from mercury poisoning which affects the nervous system and causes itching, burning, and discoloration of the skin.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
Even so, the population takes the time to meet in cafés that have been built by the citizens themselves or to play soccer tournaments between local teams.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
Although there are some bodies of water around, they are heavily contaminated with mercury and cyanide, due to the extractions from the mines.
14 Imágenes de La Rinconada, el pueblo más alto del mundo donde la gente muere lentamente
It is amazing to contemplate the sacrifice that people are willing to make to get a better life. Hopefully, their effort to obtain a reward pays off.

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