washingtonpost.com  > World > Americas > South America > Argentina
Page 5 of 5  < Back  

Scrap by Scrap, Argentines Scratch Out a Meager Living

She inhales. "Sometimes I do miss my old life where I could just stay home and study."

At the factory, Miguel's take-home pay was $600 per month, he says.


Miguel Machado, an unemployed factory worker, now searches for trash to sell to recyclers. Helped by five of his children, he might make $12 a night. (Fabricio Di Dio For The Washington Post)

_____Outlook_____
Argentina, Shortchanged: Former World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz explains why the once-prosperous country is in economic meltdown: because it followed the advice of the International Monetary Fund.
_____News from Argentina_____
Uruguay to Inaugurate Leftist President (Associated Press, Mar 1, 2005)
Argentina Completes Debt Restructuring (Associated Press, Feb 25, 2005)
Nadal Ousts Third Seed Canas in Acapulco (Reuters, Feb 25, 2005)
Calleri, Puerta Gain Mexican Open Semis (Associated Press, Feb 25, 2005)
Stomach Injury Sidelines Gaudio (Associated Press, Feb 24, 2005)
More News from Argentina

"Is this a job?" he says as he ties Coke bottles together with string. "No, this is a necessity. This is survival. This is so I don't have to steal to feed my family. This is only one step from that.

"I hate this. Everyone who does this hates it."

It is 10 p.m. and the streets are cluttered with cartoneros pushing their loaded dollies, beginning to head for the train or the recycling plants to sell what they've collected. Miguel and Romina push their load slowly, robotically, while the others prance off in the moonlit distance.

"We're done," Miguel says as he makes his way toward the train station with garbage piled nearly six feet high for the 30-minute ride home.

"We'll be back tomorrow."

Special correspondent Brian Byrnes contributed to this report.


< Back  1 2 3 4 5

© 2003 The Washington Post Company