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Recycled Childhood

Cheryl Nemazie | Nicaragua

Organization: The Neo Fund

A boy living in the barrio at La Chureca, Managua, Nicaragua's largest garbage dump.

This work illustrates daily life and the conditions under which it's lived for those dwelling in the shadows of Managua, Nicaragua's garbage dumps. As in most neighborhoods around the world, the children in these barrios play, laugh and cry. Unlike their more affluent counterparts, they have limited access (if at all) to education, and they have full-time jobs with the adults: sorting through daily tonnage of garbage for whatever scraps can be worn, eaten, scavenged, and sold to maintain their own cycle of life.

 Many thanks to Ron Hockley and the Neo Fund for indulging my own personal vision in capturing the essence of the work they do.

I had photographed around the Managua barrios of La Chureca and Tipitapa with the micro finance group, The Neo Fund, for two years before gaining access to the garbage dump and its workers. As most photographers will attest, the camera is indeed a buffer between you and your subject. The magnitude of what you're capturing often will not hit you until you are back in your room or studio editing images for your client. Shooting in the dump, I was caught up with the energy, the excitement when new trucks would arrive, the jubilation at finding prize items which might bring extra money another day. Shooting over kids sifting through restaurant scraps near stray needles and animal corpses and people eating food they'd rescued and cooked over rudimentary fires didn't really faze me until I began editing and the sobering reality hit me. This work captures just another day for the extremely impoverished, for those who don't have enough of a world view to hope for more. Micro-lending organizations like The Neo Fund reach out to these people, giving them opportunities to not just see the world (and their own futures) differently, but to dream of their own change and make it happen.

 The Neo Fund

Cheryl Nemazie

mobile: +1.410.430.6105



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