14 Dec huicholesdeltabaco_CesarR11

She is Yolanda, mother of Ernesto, Abelardo, Maria and the smallest, Uriel, 4 months old. They work as tobacco laborers and live in the same plantations that they work on. Having no place to bathe, they go to the irrigation canal, which comes from Santiago river to wash clothes and bathe. The Rio Santiago is one of the most polluted in Mexico. It receives toxic waste from an industrial corridor in the state of Jalisco as well as sewage from the city of Guadalajara. In its waters there are over a thousand chemicals such as phenols (that affect neural development), Toluene (neurotoxic), flame retardant and Benzene (the 2 are carcinogens). Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, chromium and arsenic are also detected. In 2008 the death of a child occurred, allegedly by arsenic poisoning, after falling into the river. Yolanda’s sons, Ernesto 9 years and Abelardo 6, have chickenpox, which has complicated with skin infections and large weals on the skin. Their family does not have a medical service so they have to pay a private doctor, but, having no money, they just hope the infection will pass and let time heal wounds and infections.