Searching for El Dorado A Journey into the South American

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Searching for El Dorado A Journey into the South American Rainforest on the Tail of the World's Largest Gold Rush Really informative I didnĀ“t know anything about Guyana until reading this book The search for the lost City of Gold in the basin has inspired adventurers since the days of the Spanish conuistadors and Sir Walter Raleigh Intrigued by the cultural economic and environmental fallout of a five hundred year gold rush journalist Marc Herman traveled to the rainforests of Guyana where he joined up with a rowdy crew of local gold miners as they pursued their dreams of riches In an adventure filled narrative rich with humor and empathy Herman brings to life the group of miners They are independent prospectors who wear all their earnings on their fingers and around their necks their bank accounts are oversized rings and huge gold necklaces But yards away from the mines where these men seek their fortunes with techniues reminiscent of California's forty niners dynamite tin pans and wooden sluices there are mines run by international corporations that fail to alleviate the area's poverty despite their tremendous technological and political power Searching for El Dorado is an astonishing achievement a lively humor filled adventure full of colorful people and incidents wrapped around an eye opening look at the contemporary colonialism that is enough to make you uestion the value of gold Very interesting balanced look at the realities and complexities surrounding problems faced by poorer resource centered third world countries This work started from the author's inuisitiveness about a gold rush in South America He actually followed up on his uestions and went to Guyana multiple times getting first hand perspectives from local people living in the remote areas wildcat miners large multinational mining companies environmental NGO's and representatives of the Guyanese government This made for a thorough interesting read as the issues associated with gold mining on the remote edges of rainforest unfolded Herman tackled the issue as a reporter vs laying out a clear agenda on how actors should proceed From his writing you find his conclusion that there is neither a moral nor economic perspective that he thinks is clearly the best or should take precedent He prefers to lay out competing perspectives and force the reader to formulate their own thoughts on the matter Interesting difficult subject also faced many other poor resource based economies As such I found it a good topic to learn about and ponder over This book was very interesting I learned a lot from it The authors style was easy to read and absorb Reading this I realized the stark contrast between how we live in America and 10's of thousands of third world miners live in Guyana's rain forest The poverty lack of options in all things and the relentless spirit of the people Oh yeah gold was a big part of the story too The book was biased against Guyana from the beginning and was only brief snapshots of the culture and country based on the author's relatively short visits Written from an outsider's view point he understands little of colonialism's aftermath with no attempt at a balanced view just the bleak and the mud It seemed that he only attempted to get to know locals who supported his view or because of his obvious distain for the country brought out the worst of those he did meet In Guyanese culture his attitude and the obvious chip on his shoulder would have at best caused people to treat him with indifference and distainOf course the Omai cyanide spill was terrible and inexcusable but the author didn't even handle that very well The aftermath and effect on the lives of the people living downstream was essentially uninvestigatedWhen he flew to Kaiteur falls he didn't even see what I consider one of the most beautiful places on earth its grandure as lovely or to have much if any value For a journalist I didn't think that he was very good at his craft But he did make a few points that made the read worthwhile People living on top of the worlds gold and diamond reserves are the poorest people on earth Digging and processing gold is expensive distructive creates loss of life and environment and is not worth the effort there is easily accessable gold on top of the earth in our jewel boxes and in our pawn shops Mine that not what's still in the earth