27.07.2012 - 27.07.2012
The star attraction of Potosi are its silver mines. There was and still is a lot silver on Cerro Rico ("rich mountain"), the mountain just outside the city, and Spanish colonists have used million of slaves to mine that silver. Nowadays, the Bolivian government has allowed miners to harvest the mountain, and it's a silver rush not unlike the Gold Rush in the US. The conditions in the mines are very harsh because modern mining techniques are not used, but the hope of getting lucky lives on with Potosi miners. So we went on a mining tour where for 2 hours we navigated the mine tunnels, met and discussed with miners on a break, collected a little bit of silver and detonated a stick of dynamite that Matthias and Oscar bought at the miners market (yes, in Potosi *anybody* can buy dynamite!). It was quite an experience!