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MIT's CoLab Radio: The Life of One Wastepicker in Bluefields, Nicaragua

The following post by MIT student, Drew Pierson, about the photojournal put together by classmate, Maria Cassidy, was featured on the MIT blog, CoLab radio.  The two were at blueEnergy in January working on waste management systems for the Bluefields municipality with their classmates from a course called "D-Lab Waste." To find out more about the work done in Bluefields by the MIT students, read MIT students bring Waste Management Solutions to Bluefields, MIT builds a biodigester, and “Luz de Futuro” (“Light of the Future”) – Women Working for a Better Bluefields.

The Life of One Wastepicker in Bluefields, Nicaragua

Digital story credit: Maria Cassidy, MIT Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Class of 2014

The following story is about Bernarda Pastora, a wastepicker in Bluefields, Nicaragua, and her experience raising children next to the dumpsite outside of town. The story was created and edited by Maria Cassidy, an MIT Environmental Engineering undergraduate student who participated in the trip through grant funding awarded to her by MIT’s Public Service Center. Maria, who also has her own environmental radio show, worked closely with the wastepickers, D-Lab Waste Instructor Libby McDonald, and project organizers to portray intimate aspects of their lives. Libby McDonald gave children living near the dump site cameras and asked them to take photos of important aspects of their lives. This digital story features the children’s photos.

This post is the third installment in a series about leveraging waste management as a means for social and economic development in Bluefields. MIT students are currently working on enterprise development projects in three areas: composting, recycling, and anaerobic digestion. This project is part of an ongoing partnership between MIT D-Lab Waste and CoLab, the City of Bluefields, United Nations Development Programme, and blueEnergy.

Ivette and Margarita
Ivette C. Luna, a student in the course, interviews a wastepicker. Photo Credit: Drew Pierson

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