In an act of nature, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 struck Peru's southern coast killing some 500 and injuring an estimated 1,500. On August 15th, 2007 approximately 80 percent of the homes were destroyed in Pisco, leaving many trapped in the rubble. All roads to Pisco were damaged making access to the city difficult. After days of delays on the highway, Susan Vargas Guiterez and some family arrived in Pisco only to find her fathers house destroyed and family members still missing. Her father, Marco Alvarez Guiterez hugs her aunt Soyla Guiterez Fernandez crying out, "Where is Hernan and the kids, why Hernan." Hernan, Susans uncle and Soylas brother, was in the house with his two children when it collapsed and rescue efforts from firefighters have yet to reach their district.
On August 8th, 2007, family and friends say goodbye to Alfredo Zurita Vega, 15, another child lost to the contamination in La Oroya, Peru. After a lifetime of sickness, he died from cancer after developing a tumor, which eventually spread throughout his entire body. Since 1922, the city of 35,000 has been exposed to toxic emissions from a metal smelting plant, which is owned by the Missouri-based Doe Run Corporation. A recent Health Ministry study from the government of Peru showed that 99% of the children tested had lead poisoning, a condition which causes mental retardation, hyperactivity, liver and kidney disease and in some cases cancer.
In the province of Pallasca, located in the Ancash Region of northern Peru, exist a town of just over 500 people who once a year join together in a variety of traditional rituals and celebrations honoring Saint Vicente. Half way through "Fiesta" week, the male town members join together is soccer game, where the young men compete against the elders. Dario Periz, 17, and Jamileo Garcia, 36, battle for control of the ball near the end of the second half. This year, the young took the title, for the first time in 5 years.
As the sun sets on the horizon, the Humahuaca High School boys' basketball team holds a practice game between themselves. The small desert town in Northern Argentina is extremely hot, therefore the team must practice in the evenings. While soccer in the sport of choice in Argentina, Basketball is gaining popularity and most schools have a team in place.