After Sucre we buzzed over to Potosí, a small town known for its mining. You may have even heard of the documentary, The Devil’s Miner, which is about the lives of the miners in Potosí.
We even got geared up and took a tour inside Cerro Rico, the mountain they mine. It was crazy to walk around inside the damp, low-ceiling mine and see real live miners going about their job, pushing little carts of minerals down a track just like in a movie or cartoon.
Our guide explained how the miners had to chew on coca leaves all day to keep up their energy and stave of their hunger. After all, they couldn’t go Number 2 down there without creating a toxic environment.
We also learned about their making offerings to Pachamama (Mother Earth) as well as El Tío (name they give to the devil) to ask for their safety and more as they work away in the mines.
We just spent one night in Potosí before moving on to start a 4-day tour of the Bolivian salt flats, a highlight of our traveling so far.