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Stories of Impact

The Philippines

Interview with Gina Lopez:

Interview with Meggie Nolasco, Centre for Environmental Concerns, on large-scale mining in the Philippines:

Women Hold Up The Sky:

The story of how women activists affected by mining and other forms of large-scale extractives in South Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are deeply engaged in resistance and an active struggle to take back control of their land, their rights, their bodies and their lives

The Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana, environmental racism

“Resistance: The Bayou Bridge Pipeline”

“How Oil Companies Are Destroying America’s Wetlands” [produced by Al Jazeera, 2018]

Maria Full of Grace

María Álvarez, an independent, feisty, and underpaid seventeen-year-old Colombian rose packager is stuck in a tedious life and a dead-end relationship with her good-for-nothing boyfriend, Juan. And as if things weren’t bad enough, an unexpected pregnancy and an ugly altercation with her unfair boss will tempt María to accept the risky offer to become a drug mule, smuggling drugs from Bogotá to New York City. But, as things rapidly spiral out of control, suddenly, the option of an early retirement and a peaceful future for both María and her unborn baby begins to fade away. Is there a way out from this hopeless predicament?—Nick Riganas

The Devil’s MinEr

The Devil’s Miner is the story of 14-year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12-year-old brother Bernardino, who work in the ancient Cerro Rico silver mines of Bolivia. It is believed that more than eight million workers have perished in the mines since the 16th century.

Raised without a father and living in extreme poverty with their mother and 6-year-old sister on the slopes of the mine, the boys assume many adult responsibilities. It takes two months’ work just to afford the clothing and supplies vital to their education. Without an education, the brothers have no chance to escape their destiny in the silver mines.

The Vargas boys chew coca leaves to stave off hunger and keep their wits about them during their long hours in the mines, where they also present offerings to El Tío, the malevolent spirit that is believed to reside there. Each mine has its own statue of the horned demon who guards the mine’s riches. According to local legend the mines are the exclusive province of El Tío, the protector and destroyer of the miners. El Tío is a miner’s only hope of salvation in this heavily Catholic region, where the people believe that the spirit of God does not exist in the hellish underworld inside the mountain.

Filmmakers Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani spent months with the Vargas family, journeying down into the Cerro Rico mines with Basilio, Bernardino, and the adult villagers who risk their lives to make a meager living. The result is both harrowing and moving, a portrait of a world where children risk their lives daily in hopes of an eventual better life — if the quest doesn’t kill them first.

Prayer and Reflection Resources

Colorado River – I Am Red — 3 minute reflection from the perspective of the Colorado River
Ecospirituality, a 3 minute meditation
Rosary of Creation — Joyful Mysteries
Rosary of Creation — Sorrowful Mysteries
Rosary of Creation — Mystery of the Fullness of the Universe

The history of Extractivism and the Extractive Development Model

Research on the impact of Extractive Industries

Spirituality, Faith and the Church

Book Resources