Bogota Waste Pickers

ACORN Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

Bogota     Columbia perhaps leads the world in supporting the organization of workers involved in handling solid waste under different names and hard conditions. The 13th annual "dia de recicladores" or day of the wastepicker or recycler was March 1st. This date coincided with the first international congress of wastepickers.

ACORN was represented by Ercilia Sahores from Buenos Aires who has begun a project to organize cartoneros there and shashi from delhi where ACORN has affiliated 5,000 members of the Harit Recyclers Association. I was there to speak to our experience with "hoppers" in New Orleans and "slingers" in Dallas.

That’s the bottom line because unfortunately my welcome to the conference was a rough one. I put my pack down on a chair and walked 6 feet away for a cup of "coffee." Walking back my bag was gone. We looked everywhere for an hour but it was a classic "grab and run.". Gone was my compiuter and everything I had carried along to keep from leaving the bag in the hotel where I didn’t have a room to secure the most valuables.

Life on the road. Within minutes my companera had forwarded me links on bogota crime (top 5 in world) and its leading position on murders (not interested), but in either case I had no real way to access. More to follow.

Bogota, Colombia