Potosi  Bolivia

Home of Cerro Rico Mountain & Silver Mine




Cerro Rico mountain has been mined for silver for 470 years.  As of 2014 over 12000 miners still work in the mine at an altitude of 4700 meters (15400 feet).

As many as 8 million miners have died in the mine.  The average miner life expectancy is 40 years.


The Candelaria cooperative mine entrance to Cerro Rico.

Hundreds of mining cooperatives operate on the mountain.



Tourists don protective gear before going on a tour of the Candelaria mining operations.

The inside of the mine can reach 45 degrees celsius (113 degrees fahrenheit)


El Tio "The Uncle" is considered  the lord of the underworld. 

Miners leave offerings at a statue deep inside the mine.



The Candelaria cooperative processing plant located in Potosi.



The Candelaria cooperative processing plant located in Potosi.



A silver miners supply shop - including dynamite.



Click below for videos of the Candelaria Silver Mining Operations in Cerro Rico Mountain, Potosi, Bolivia in May 2012




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