Entry Title: "Smokey Mountain"
Name: Christopher Rusanowsky , United States
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story|Social Cause, Professional
Entry Description: Sitio Damayan a place the locals call “Smokey Mountain”. It was named after the thick, white soot that filled the air. There was a highly compacted muddy road condensed with huts on each of side of it, leading me to a community of huts made with abandoned materials. The people of Smokey Mountain have been forced to live around the dump site to search through trash to find recyclables as a means of income. Surrounding the homes were a large row of charcoal shanties, where these men, women and children from the age of six worked 24 hours a day. These huts had no foundation and could have collapsed at any time. The smoke from the charcoal billowed into the air, leaving a burning sensation in the back of my throat from which I could only describe as acrid. The children did not know anything more than this isolated place of poverty. They try to live a normal childhood, playing in the waters that flowed next to a shipping harbor.