photo of person from Peru Cerro de Pasco
Peru
 
GLOSSARY
Peru glossary

Abel

(PERU 7)

Sex

male

Age

22

Occupation

footballer/miner

Location

Quiulacocha

Date

1995

 

transcript


Section 1
Could you tell us your name please?
I'm Abel Poma and I was born in this historic community of Quiulacocha, just like all my brothers.

Do you have many brothers and sisters?
Yes, there are six of us. Four girls and two boys including me. I'm the third.

How old are you?
22 seŮor.

And your parents, are they also from this community?
Yes, my parents are also from here, both of them, and they're called Celestino and Rosa.

What do they do?
They keep a little livestock like everyone around here, and they also trade things, in this way they've brought us up and looked after us. They work in the fields a little as well, depending on what possibilities there are seŮor, that's how it is. They've worked hard throughout their lives like all the Quiulacochans seŮor. Being poor they've been able to give us something, in spite of the poverty. We're recognised as children and weíre very grateful to them.

You told us you were the third child, are the other children still here in Quiulacocha or have they left the community?
Just one sister has left. The rest of us are still around. My sister's taken up in Lima. She's the oldest, she's building her life over there in Lima. That's how it is.

So the others haven't left the community?
Yes they've left but they've come back again. They went to Cerro de Pasco, to other places, but they've come back to the community, they've married and they're here. They live in Quiulacocha itself, although of course my brother goes all the time to Cerro, not very far away, to do business in a little shop that he set up.

What about you, youíre quite young, how do you see life in your community?
Well, like I said I'm 22. Life is pretty relaxed, that's the way I see it.
Section 2
Your parents will have talked about life in the community before, do you think life's changed?
Some things of course, but not much. Things are pretty much the same. There isn't much progress. But people are hardworking, that's what they told me, that people have always worked very hard in this community, this hasn't changed.

But what do you think about other young people like you? Do they like life in the community? Do they want to stay here in Quiulacocha or do they think about moving away?
Oh yes, the majority leave, people from here and the 40% who work for Centromin Peru, in the mines, they go because thatís their fate. They go and live in Cerro de Pasco. Sometimes students at the university leave from here, [they go to] the school in Cerro de Pasco because when you've got a lot of work on at university, you need all the time you can get. And so some people look for a room in Cerro de Pasco. Yes, the majority of people leave for Cerro de Pasco. Last year 20% left the community of Quiulacocha to go to work in the mines, not just Centromin. They leave to find work.

What other mining places do they go to?
From here just to Uchucchacua, Atacocha and Milpo, others go to Lima. If you've a family you've got to find work. Sometimes the livestock isn't enough to support the families. You see we've got big families. In one home there are four or five brothers and sisters and there's not enough livestock. That's why you sometimes end up leaving the community to go and find work, that's why they leave.

Do people who go elsewhere come back to Quiulacocha?
Yes, sometimes they come back in droves, for the assemblies, for example. Sometimes on Sundays they call a faena (community, communal work) and people whoíve left come home.

And this form of migration, do you think its something new or has it always existed, has it always happened?
Not so much. I think it's always happened though of course not as much as now. I've got uncles far away, in other cities. My relatives, just like other families have been to seek their fortune in other cities. They've also gone to Lima. They went before when they were young. Just as my parents stayed, others left.

And tell me about people of your age, your friends, do they leave too, have they gone to other places? What do you think?
Of course, I've got a lot of friends who've gone away. Some are in the mines at Centromin or Ucchuchacua; some go to university in Cerro; and they've even gone to Huancayo and Lima. Itís mainly if they have a family, then they go.

And you Abel, haven't you ever thought about leaving?
Yes I've thought about it, but not yet no. My parents need me here now that my brother's married and I help my parents and my younger brothers and sisters.

And your studies?
I finished my second year and didn't continue studying... I didn't like the idea, I preferred doing other things.
Section 3
But you haven't ruled out the idea of moving away?
I've thought about it several times but not yet, no. Maybe later, like I said.

And what do you do?
Me, right now, I'm with the pick of the pitch.

What's that?
I'm a footballer, I play every day, putting in the effort, training. Sometimes they have teams from the mining camps and when you get well known, they call you up and you play and earn a little money. If you're good enough then they put you on the company payroll and want to give you a contract.

Does it pay to be a footballer?
Yes, in some cases it can be profitable. You just have to make sacrifices, like when someone studies to become a professional, itís the same when you want to be a professional footballer as well. Everyday you have to train, train and by making sacrifices you can get ahead. And then more often than not the [teams from the] mining camps come and look for you and if you're good you can stay. But in the meanwhile, you have to look for a job. Sometimes on Sundays you get a bonus.

Have you played for any of the mining camps then?
Yes, I've played in Chacua, in Milpo and here in the regional [championships] at Curquijirca. I've played in all three.

And have you worked in any of the mining camps as well?
Yes, of course, like I said. They ask you to stay on, but that's it, like a contract. Thatís while youíre of use to them. When youíre no longer any use, they get rid of you. That's why footballers are only contracted temporarily, this has happened to me.

Haven't you thought about trying your luck as a footballer in a professional team. I imagine there must be one here in Cerro de Pasco?
Yes, there's the Union Minas de Cerro de Pasco which is in the first division championship and which is backed by Centromin. But they just prefer footballers who come from Lima. They just give them the contracts and don't take any notice of the people from around here, despite the fact that we know how to play at high altitude, at 4,400 metres above sea level, but they don't give us the chance. Despite all this I go on training so that one day I'll play for my country. I'd like that.

Have you thought about moving elsewhere as a footballer
Yes of course. But firstly I want to be educated and well trained so I can leave my community in good shape. I'm still young and thereís still time for me to reach my goals.

What other activities do you do when you're not playing football?
Like I said, I help my parents with the community work, the faenas.
Section 4
What community work?
We've got some livestock and we help each other out with this. We also work for the community in the community faenas. So we help the family and the community like good Quiulacochans. The community has an agreement with Centromin Peru for the lakes and land they contaminated and so Centromin has given compensation in the form of 30 contracts. So in this way, sometimes there's work, other times no. But we also do farming, we work in the fields as well, we make sacrifices in order to achieve something.

From what you've heard from your parents or from older people in general, have the economic activities of the community changed, or are they the same?
My father told me they always reared livestock here, that's all, but before things were better, they produced more. Now itís much less, now there aren't many resources.

What resources?
The icchu (Quechua for grass) for grazing, and the water. Just look at the lake and you'll see you can't count on it for anything. It's all dried up or been infected with filth. So how can people graze and rear livestock? This is what's changed, I think. Now, because there's not enough being produced, people start to trade things, they become traders and travel carrying goods. Some don't come back. This is new as well. The old members of the community have provided jobs for the community in the communal faenas. They've tried to recover the lake over there in Quiulacocha which was invaded by Centromin Peru, but all they did was negotiate and get a bit of compensation, but that's all.

Have the people planted anything here in Quiulacocha? Any crops? Do they plant anything these days, or did they used to?
What we've been planting lately is maca (small tuber like a radish), then we haveÖjust now we're planting these grasses here in the sub regions and when they grow we'll plant more grasses here in the cooperative so we'll have more resources for the community and the livestock belonging to community members. Itís a cycle.

How did the maca turn out?
Good, it turned out well and now weíre waiting again, before the summer comes. The community's satisfied with the maca and we hope it'll continue going well for us, so it complements the rearing of livestock in the community.

And what livestock do you rear mainly in Quiulacocha?
Here, mainly sheep and cows, more than anything these two, also a few horses.

Are there any other jobs that people do here?
Nowadays some people make a living raising the guinea pigs that we have here, rearing guinea pigs, agriculture, that's all. Ah, also, they extract sand down in Sacra - itís all sand in that area and we base ourselves there, itís three kilometres from there to Quiulacocha. Most of the people there are the unemployed from Quiulacocha. They [go there to] extract sand because everybody needs their bread and they've got to make sacrifices. The majority go from here because it's profitable.
Section 5
Are there small businesses here in Quiulacocha?
Yes, there's a small textile business, that's the only thing, yes itís the only business there is here. There are two teachers from San Pedro de Cajas who've come to teach textiles and weaving. They donít come on Sundays, but when they do, the teachers come two or three times a week.

And have they commercialised the weaving?
Until now we havenít made it commercial, no. Perhaps in time weíll get it together.

How does the bakery work?
Itís part of the cooperative, itís needed a lot by us and also the community of Yurahuanca, lots of communities which are close by, quite a few of them need it. Itís especially important for people [who live in] the country because sometimes the bakers from the bakery in Cerro de Pasco donít come. They come in the mornings but sometimes you don't have any [bread] in the evenings or maybe the baker doesn't come [at all]. That's why we set up the bakery. Now itís working so well we're thinking of building another oven, for the community this time, not for the cooperative. Then thereíll be two ovens for the bakery.
Oh, and I forgot the dressmaking workshop. There is one that runs from Monday to Friday. There are about 18 to 20 people who attend and a teacher from the 13 August school in Quiulacocha helps out. These are new activities in the community.

Do many people in the community have subsistence problems?
Yes, quite a few, a lot, as many as 10%. There are a lot of poor people. Then there are the widows who've been left with five or six children. Every fortnight the community, the council or the cooperative gives them some support, in the meanwhile they give them food, sometimes they give them work eventually here in the cooperative. This is the kind of support they offer because the community cares about its children.

How many people, or how many families live in Quiulacocha?
There are approximately 180 comuneros (registered community members with rights and responsibilities), and settlers too.

From what you known and also what you've heard from your family, has the population of Quiulacocha increased or not?
Itís the same as it ever was. I don't think it's increased. A lot of people go away like I said, but then children are born and things get reproduced so the population stays the same I think. Of course the mayor in the council, or the councillors could tell you if we've increased or decreased.

Are there many miners in the community?
Miners, in total there are 18 miners, I think. They go every day to Cerro de Pasco, from here, from Quiulacocha. Of course there are more in Cerro, but they donít live here any more. Itís the same in all the camps, like Milpo, Quiulacocha, El Brocal.
Section 6
They go to work everyday from here?
Yes, they go every day, if they have their own cycle or motorbike then they go daily from here. There are also neighbours from the Yurahuanca and Rancas communities who go to work at Centromin.

Do they get any help for going to work at Centromin from Quiulacocha?
No, there's no company bus for the workers. The bus goes to San Juan and Ataraxia, but it doesn't come to Quiulacocha, because itís nearby. The company treats them well during the eight hour working day but the rest of the time they don't worry a bit about their workers. As long as youíre working hard - thatís what you go to work for.

Do you think the organisational structure of the community has changed?
Yes, itís changed a little. Nowadays the community is organised jointly with the main population which is here just below Quiulacocha together with the mayor, who my father told me wasn't here before, neither was the cooperative. Two metres from here we've got a dairy, which produces milk, cheese and meat every week and daily it produces milk. This [all] benefits us community members. We produce cheese every week, and meat as well, every week, and we benefit from this. Unfortunately though sometimes people from Cerro de Pasco don't come, maybe because they don't know there's milk for sale and cheese and meat. If there was some publicity then maybe they'd come and also they'd have the ability to buy good milk. We're also getting organised in the community so we can sell milk to other communities, good milk for communities like Cerro, La Oroya and others that don't have good milk like ours which is pure from the cow, the cheese as well. In this way the community goes on changing, getting better, not getting worse. It is because of this that we're setting up a bakery... and so there are various projects to improve things. The organisational structure of the community changes like this seŮor, and we all want it to change.

Tell me, when a decision has to be made in the community, how's it done?
We make decisions in communal assemblies, because those who decide are the people. Obviously the executive opposes (things) but more often than not itís up to the assembly [to decide]. If the assembly agrees we canít do something, then we donít do it, itís not what the directors [say]. They do move things on sometimes, but whatever it is, whatever problem, an emergency meeting is called and of course they'll have it on a Sunday so the whole of the village can make a decision, the whole village will come, even if itís a decision that really ought to be taken by the executive, the people at the meeting will say what they want to say, the village will say something on everything.

You're saying that when there's a problem here in the community, the assembly resolves it?
Yes, the assembly resolves it and everybody, jointly, with the whole body of comuneros, all the members, the whole assembly resolves it.

And apart from these old institutions, what other institutions have been set up recently, ones you consider to be important for Quiulacocha?
Well, they've set up the Vaso de Leche (Literally, glass of milk; welfare organisation aiming to ensure all children receive some milk daily), and the Motherís Committee, these are working. Then there are the three institutions of a club which takes part in the football league. These are the important new institutions.
Section 7
How do you view the participation of women in the community?
Like I say, they're participating in the community organisations such as the Vaso de Leche, that's all. My mother also takes part, and in my view itís important, seŮor. And they coordinate and work in the health posts, that's all. This over here is the community base of the Vaso de Leche, that's where women work and help the children so no one is left without having at least one glass of milk, that's how they help them. It's a new organisation in the community that helps out quite a lot now there's more poverty.
[Interview is interrupted for a while as someone from Abelís house comes to get him for something. It resumes half an hour later.]


Your community is situated in a very important historic are, one where there have been battles for independence and also confrontations with the [mining] companies which have destroyed the environment. What is your relationship with nearby communities?
Well, in the north here we have the community of Yurahuanca, we've also got Rancas and the community of Sacra; nearer by we've got the population of Champamarca. But when there are conflicts over lands we always unite. There are times when, whatever problem it might be - and these days we have many problems created by Centromin Peru - we have to join up with these communities. Sometimes they make decisions in our communal assemblies as well and in this way we confront the problems of Centromin Peru.

Out of the communities you've mentioned, with which communities have you had the best relationships? Do you have a history of working with any of them?
Mostly, we join up with Yurahuanca because of the [mining] waste. Two, three lakes have been contaminated by Centromin Peru and this waste is going to come down the pipes here to Quiulacocha and itís also going to affect Yurahuanca quite a lot too. Because sometimes they don't take any notice of one village [acting alone] - Centromin doesn't take any notice - sometimes we have to join up with two or three [other] villages. We're mainly with the community of Yurahuanca nowadays since Rancas deserted us. Rancas has let us down a bit so we have to join up with Yurahuanca mainly.

Has the relationship with other communities changed at all? Have you had conflicts or fights with any of these communities at any time?
A bit with the community of Yurahuanca yes, when they divided up the land with the cooperative we had problems with them, also with Rancas. But this has changed. Itís ancient history now, something our grandfathers remember. Itís different now, things have improved, with other communities we haven't had any problems. But I believe that we share the same history. That's what we learnt in school as children, that there's no big difference. All the communities want to live peacefully and we strive for this. But there is a history of defending our lands and confrontation against the company - and that wonít change. Every time somebody comes wanting to take something from us, we've united, just like against Centromin. We've lost quite enough with all the waste and pollution but we go on fighting.
Section 8
Apart from Centromin, what other mining companies are there around here that also cause problems?
There's the Brocal company and closer still is Milpo, Atatocha, this is the one that's the closest. They do damage, just like Centromin, they mine without any care. I know how they work. I've been through all the mines and I know how they work.

Do you think there's a big problem of pollution in this community?
Of course there is. Just look at the lake and the jobs that are done badly by the company. Just look at the drains, how's there not going to be a pollution problem? The rivers, the lakes, not just Quiulacocha. Take the river of San Josť, which is polluted by what comes out of Centromin Peru, from the lake of San Josť, then thereís the river of Huarocaca, and so it goes on, right up to Junin until you get to the lake of Chispicocha.

Are there any other lakes except Quiulacocha that belong to the community?
There's Quillapata, Cuchischico and Cuchisgrande. Two years ago they were clean, there were trout, frogs, everything. Now, with the pollution from Centromin, every little thing is contaminated, there's nothing. There used to be people whose livelihoods were fishing. They came from Cerro de Pasco to Quiulacocha itself. There were people who made their living from fishing, but now they can't fish in these lakes like before, nor in the river San Juan over there in Rancas, now itís not permitted to fish there.

And do you think his is a new problem or does it stem from before, whatí have your parents told you in this respect?
Of course itís an old problem. Since they started the mining, Centromin and the other company, but nobody has done anything to stop it. So they've gone on contaminating, the soil, the lakes, the rivers and this isn't just a problem in Quiulacocha, itís [the same] for all the communities around here, right up to Cerro where the open cast pit in the middle of the city is getting bigger. Wherever there's been mining they've destroyed the fields, so that in La Oroya all you see are bare hills, thereís no life left. What's more, seŮor, it goes on and we have to stop it, because if we donít there won't be any life left in our communities and they'll disappear.

And the young people of your age, are they aware of this problem?
Some yes, but others not so much. That's why we don't get anywhere and we react too late, that's how it goes, that's the truth of the matter, though you wouldn't believe it. That's why when you asked me about this interview I accepted so I could relate what's happening. This could move things forward. My remembering that there were crystal clean lakes like I told you when now there are none, illustrates the pollution issue. We must become more aware of this all the time and I believe we are doing this in order to confront the contaminators, particularly if we love our community. Itís worse when it doesnít rain, when there are dry periods and, for example, we have to collect [water] from streams two kilometres away, or one kilometre, sometimes half a kilometre. You have to suffer a great deal just to get water. But these streams aren't clean or crystal like before.

And what about the dead animals - have you seen any of this?
Yes, the majority have died. With the polluted lakes in Quiulacocha now, there's no way of rearing animals here, because they eat [the grass], but with the pollution everything is bad. Before we had everything but now there's nothing. Itís worse when thereís a drought.
Section 9
What are the substances that have contaminated your main lake?
Itís mainly sulphur. Thatís the main environmental pollution that you get around here. All the water from Cerro de Pasco is going to come here, and there's going to be more, a lot more pollution. Itís going to be coming here, to the village as the work they're going to do is about to start. Just imagine, all the waste's going to be on show, itís not going to be covered and itís a lot of pollution, it'll be a lot for the animals, for the population, for the human beings, and this pollution will bring lots of problems for the people, more than anything. I asked Centromin, those causing all this, why canít they do the job properly because itíll have consequences over here, the work they're doing, the environmental pollution. It's always been like this, they do the work the way they want, just to get it done, but in reality they don't achieve anything, they just cause damage, this can't be allowed.

Are you saying that there's double pollution or a danger of double pollution?
Yes, we have our lakes, they've taken them away, they're contaminated. Now there's the environmental pollution that's going to come, you're going to see worse pollution and its never going to go away, we're never going to be able to make any progress with this pollution.

And the lakes and the rivers that they've contaminated, are these useful for anything?
They were useful before, when they were good they were useful for watering the livestock, they were useful for the people for drinking water. Now they've taken that away we've barely enough water to sustain the majority of us here. Sometimes itís the morning, other times itís the evening...

And so itís not useful for anything these days?
Now itís practically useless. Weíve got contaminated pastures and now our lands are being taken away from us, the company is taking our lands away from the community, and itís our land and the company is taking it away from us. What I want is for them to put their hands on their hearts and admit what they're doing. I know the air thatíll come to us now is going to be polluted like all the air in Cerro. Before, you used to breath pure air because this is open countryside, but now there'll be this pollution, [everythingís] going to be sacrificed. Just think about it. All the young people, the children and the old people will fall ill - itís a problem that the government authorities don't do anything about. They say they're going to sell the company now but we don't know if this is going to improve things.

What type of illnesses are most frequent in Quiulacocha?
Flu, Bronchitis, this is what there is most of.

As you mentioned, Quiulacocha is a community which has been quite badly hit by Centromin, many acts have been committed against you with this incredible pollution. Yourselves as a community, have you not done anything to defend yourselves, or are there some actions youíve taken?
Yes, we've appealed to the sub regions but they've tried to bring us down and we've made complaints as well - we've protested to President Fujimori, but no, we haven't been able to do anything about it, they haven't helped us with anything. Sometimes it requires a lot of money to come up against Centromin and often the community doesn't have these kinds of economic resources and so we've been paralysed. We've sent representatives to the government, when members of parliament have come here we've spoken to them as well, but they don't do anything to help the communities. Itís as if we don't exist and the Centromin company, since it belongs to the government, can do what it wants. We even won a court case against Centromin and they were forced to repay us [by building] a stadium, they built us a dairy [too] and a park. Officially we've won twice against Centromin.
Section 10
And do you feel that youíve gained anything from this?
Something yes, but the community has also lost its land and the pollution will continue for sure. The thing is that they have the force of the army. When Centromin was installing the pipelines to pollute the lake we got the whole community together to try and stop their work, but they brought in the armed forces. Sometimes the community doesnít do anything so as not to come up against the army, the community isn't there because [the army] is so powerful. Theyíve tried to ruin us with the armed forces and theyíve kicked us out with the armed forces. We've defended ourselves but when the army arrives then we don't have much success. But we've put up a good fight and I know the people of Centromin have understood straightaway.

Have there been any deaths from these actions?
No, there haven't been any injuries, or even any deaths. Theyíve attacked us a few times but not much.

How long have the mines existed in Quiulacocha?
Mines in Quiulacocha? There arenít any.

The mining settlements, since when have they existed?
Since the time when the gringos (westerners, foreigners, in this context North Americans who ran/owned the mines) came. I guess there must have been mines around here for about 50 years or more. Nearby youíve got the Andes Humacha, then there's the Raura mine, these are the only mines here close to Quiulacocha.

You're fairly young yourself here in Quiulacocha, but what can you remember being told about the gringos?
Well they say the gringos were a bit more decent, they worked harder, that's what some people remember. Others say they were worse and that it was them who started to exploit everybody. I don't remember myself, I didn't know them, my parents did, and I've heard them talk about them. It didnít used to be called Centromin, but the Cerro Corporation and it belonged to the gringos. That's when the pollution must have started and Centromin continued it. That's how it's been and now we're paying the consequences, that's how it goes.
Section 11
You're young and have had the good fortune to have gone to school. What do you think of your community, of your history, of your past?
I believe my community is important. It has a lot of important things and itís been able to resist everything that's happened to it.

Have you listened to stories, legends about your community, from your parents or the older people?
Yes of course. Here in the area there are three lakes and one is the Quiulacocha lake. According to our dear ancestors, they say that three bulls went into the lakes: one of gold, one of bronze and one of silver. And the lake we have here is the bronze one and the Quiulacochans have to take care of the bull so nobody takes it away. This is our legend and the inheritance of the people from this community is the bronze bull.

What an interesting legend. Tell me, as a young person are you interested in parties and music? Do you dance your own dances or are there dances that come from other areas?
Yes, there are artists and dances typical to this village. There are artists such as guitarists that liven up the fiestas and we dance and everyone dances in the community fiestas (festivals, celebrations) the saints days, carnival time. At these all the young people and the old people dance as well, this is what's typical.

So there isn't any influence from dances or music from abroad?
Yes, there's that as well, I wonít deny it. The young people go to Cerro or other cities and they dance there to other things. But here in the community they dance the typical dances, that's how it is. For example, now, recently at carnival time itís really beautiful and what's more they celebrate it all over the place and everything is shared and I think itís really beautiful. Itís not like this any more in other places, not in Rancas or in other communities. So much so that when they go and live in other cities the children from Quiulacocha come back for the fiestas and celebrate with their brothers in the community. They never forget the saint's days, they don't forget the dances and they enjoy them together. This is why the fiestas are beautiful. Us young people recognise this and we join in, but this doesn't stop us from dancing to other music and dances. But we keep our customs here I think, more than in the cities.

Tell me, do you speak Quechua?
No seŮor, why should I lie.

And did your parents speak it?
Yes, of course, a little, although it was still more Spanish. That's how it is generally. You don't hear much Quechua nowadays.

And so they didn't teach their children?
No. Weíve picked up a little bit from what weíve heard but not much. My parents don't speak it much themselves, I think my grandparents speak more. Itís very rare for my parents to speak to each other in Quechua, almost never.

And why do you think it is that the original language of this region has disappeared?
I think itís because Spanish has been imposed, in education, Spanish is taught in the schools, not Quechua, that's why I think it's happened. They speak Spanish everywhere, all over the country and in other countries, so itís important to speak Spanish.
Section 12
And would you like to have spoken Quechua?
Yes of course. But I haven't been able to I don't think, because of what I told you.

Don't you think losing the language of your ancestors is losing something of yourselves as well?
Of course, but that's how it's happened... What could we do?.. Itís not our parents fault either, I think itís something that's been imposed unfortunately, honestly, but Spanish is spoken all over the world, you know that.

What other things do you think you've lost with the passing of time?
I wouldn't know what to say, at my age I haven't really noticed. Someone older could answer better I think. I see that some things have been lost but other things stay the same, some of the customs remain the same like those I told you about. Every year we celebrate our fiestas, that's how it goes on seŮor. Livestock, lakes, concrete things like that itís easy to be aware of, but an older person could probably tell you more accurately.

Abel, do you also think you'll leave the community one day or do you think you'll stay?
I don't know. I'll probably leave here at some stage but I'd come back. Of course, you have to see how the work goes, because now while I'm single I can help my parents and I have some income. But when there are other obligations you have to think about the family, that's life and there are times when there isn't any work. If the situation suddenly got worse then I'd go.

And if you were contracted by a football team, would you go?
Yes. I'm a footballer and I'd like to try my luck and show that people from the highlands are good footballers.

How do you view Quiulacocha, your village in the present day?
Itís hard but we're facing up to it. I think that we're holding out better than Yurahuanca, Rancas. We're overtaking them in everything because our cooperativeís working, we're doing better than them.

Then things can get better? What can you tell us about the future of your community?
I know that working as brothers, together as comuneros, I know we'll make progress and I realise that with the problems we have with the company [the progress] is going to be small, but now the young people who are becoming adults are going to be something else. I know that we're going to move ahead and we think we'll overcome the council which is the Simon de Bolivar district of Rancas who don't give us any help.
Section 13
Would you be in agreement if they moved the community to the other side?
Well, we've had discussions with Centromin but they were going to move us to the golf club which is in Uliachin, over the back there. But we don't want to go over there because itís quite wet. And also they wanted to move us to Villa de Pasco, but if we go from Cerro de Pasco, from Quiulacocha, we're going to lose nearly every bit of the support we're getting and we're also going to lose our animals. Most people don't want to leave, some want to move but others don't want to go.

What would you like most for your community?
Well, I'd ask the Simon de Bolivar district to support us and for Centromin Peru to put an end to the problems they're causing. With this we'd move ahead and I know the community would come out grateful to all those who supported them.

Is there anything you'd like to add to end this interview?
Well I'd just like to ask that Cerro de Pasco and Centromin Peru visit Quiulacocha, that they come to talk with us. I'd also ask the President of Peru who has never visited these lands of God to see for himself that we exist, and to see how the children of Quiulacocha work despite everything. I'd like this. And I hope that it'll be useful for you. We're here to help like we always have been. The people from Quiulacocha are very hospitable in their lands.

Farewell and thank you very much. Abel