I’d been out to Pampa Blanca the night before for a primary school graduation. The remote town makes its living off dirt farming, cattle and mining. Apparently back in the day, they would pull out kilos of gold at a time out of the hills surrounding the town. Now they scrap together a little golddust at a time by grinding rock with a giant stone, adding mercury to the sludge and drying it. I’m not sure where they dump the sludge and waste excess water but I’m pretty sure it just goes right into the river.
Anyway, when we pulled up, all the kids playing futbol on the dirt pitch above came running down the rocky hillside after the truck. The clown put on a little show, gave out presents with Papa Noel (Santa), and we drank hot chocolate. The children were so precious and so grateful. It really melted my heart and stirred up some paternal instinct that I’ve managed to bury for all these years (Don’t get all worked up mom, I’m over it today).
I little different than the crass commercialism and excess I´m used to.