February 25, 2012

COOCOO FOR COCALEROS:

The flying men of Yungas Valley: Bolivia's coca farmers make a living criss-crossing deep valleys on a web of makeshift cables high above forest canopy. (Al Jazeera,  22 Feb 2012)

In Bolivia's jungles and steep cliffs the Yungas people do not walk. They fly. On ropes. Like birds. Faster than astronauts.

These 'birds' are known as cocaleros, or coca harvesters. They use ropes to swing across the narrow valleys, suspended from ancient rusting pulleys.

It takes all of 30 seconds from one side to the other. By foot it would take more than an hour.

"This must be about six or seven years old. Before then there was nothing. Nothing," Synthe, a harvester, says. "We had to walk down to the bottom, cross the river and then climb up the other side. It used to be quite a hike."
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Posted by at February 25, 2012 7:22 AM
  

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