In North Bolivia, in the valley of the river Tipuani, the mountains hide among their rocks some veins of gold once exploited by foreign mining companies. The miners have now formed a cooperative and, while the men work in the deep galleries, the women and children pan the river. In the nineties, after the fall in the price of gold, the cooperatives were forced cut down on the miners’ salaries and safety accidents in the galleries. The work stops only three days a year, for the national indipendence celebrations, and then continues as always. The International Labour Organisation is trying to tear the children of school age away from the river and to create alternative sources of income for the inhabitants, but the difficulties are enormous.