Living With Water Pollution in Guatemala

Image source, Reuters Image caption, People collect scrap metal from the polluted river, which is straddled by Guatemala's largest landfill
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The first UN water summit in almost 50 years is taking place this week in New York City, where thousands of delegates will meet to discuss a looming global water crisis caused by overconsumption and overdevelopment.

Reuters news agency sent a photographer to the Las Vacas river in the Chinautla municipality outside Guatemala City on Tuesday to record the impact that pollution is having on one waterway.

A general view of waste from Guatemala's largest landfill on the Las Vacas river basinImage source, Reuters
A man poses for a portrait after working in the polluted waters of the Las Vacas riverImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
This man, known as “Canche”, is one of these informal workers
A man searches for scrap metal in the polluted waters of the Las Vacas riverImage source, Reuters
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According to one non-profit group, The Ocean Cleanup, about 20,000 tonnes of rubbish are carried by the Las Vacas river each year
A cow and her calves cross the polluted waters of the Las Vacas riverImage source, Reuters
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And it’s not just humans that can be spotted in the rubbish-clogged waters, as seen here as a cow and her calves cross the river
Two boys cross the polluted waters of the Las Vacas riverImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Abner, 12, and Anderson, 9, were also pictured wading through the murky waters
A man searches for scrap metal in the polluted waters of the Las Vacas riverImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Las Vacas is a tributary of the Rio Motagua, the largest river in Guatemala which flows into the Caribbean Sea
A general view of an illegal dump on the banks of the Las Vacas riverImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Last year, the Ocean Cleanup installed a steel-mesh screen on the river to try and stop the plastics before they reach the Caribbean
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