Nicaragua Granada


This dump project is no longer active, the dump has closed.

La Chureca Rubbish Dump

Up until 2007, La Chureca was the largest municipal rubbish dump in Central America at 7km². It has been recognised as such for over forty years and is situated in the heart of Nicaragua’s capital city overlooking the vast Lake Managua. Although precise figures are hard to come by, several organisations have estimated that up to 3,000 people are scavenging on the site daily for recyclable materials, with up to 80 families living in shanty towns located directly on the dump.

When Small Steps Project worked on la Chureca dump in 2010 it was in the process of closing. The Spanish government had initiated the implementation of a recycling plant to replace the old dump site. However though a step in the right direction, none of the NGO’s we spoke to were being offered any alternatives or assistance to deal with the scavengers that were now out of work. Furthermore very little has been put in place for the children or families living on or around the dump. Many of the centres and NGO’s had been served with eviction notices but alternative places had been suggested. Indeed one centre, Los Quinchos, which provided the only safe place for children in the dump had recently had an enormous hole cut into the hill it which it stood, leaving a dangerous and narrow pathway at it’s gate where toddlers cam in and out. We were pleased that the dump was closing but disappointed that the people on that dump were being given no consideration.

Small Steps Project delivered a Phase 1 Shoe Distribution to the children on the dump as well as hygiene kits and school supplies. We did this with Los Quinchos, a local organisation who assist street children and teenagers by providing a residential centre and services so that the children can wash, eat, receive medical assistance, play and access educational services.

Small Steps: Nicaragua from Amy Hanson on Vimeo.

To read more about our project on La Chureca, click through to the links below:
First visit to the dump
La Chureca shoe distribution