Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Central America; most Guatemalans exist on subsistence farming. But in the San Juan Sacatepequez region, where the land is poor, many have turned to producing fireworks at home. The practice has become the major source of income for 80% of the local people. It is a labor intensive process, and children often start working at the task by the age of six. There are no guarantees on how much families are paid for their labor, and no safety controls. Accidents are frequent. Many are fatal.
This LIFE installment looks at campaigns to persuade local people to consider safer ways of earning a living - ways that can also allow their children to go to school and gain the education necessary for sustainable development.
With the support of the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor of the International Labor Organization; the European Commission Directorate General for Development to promote better understanding of development issues; the Directorate General for the Environment.
The other titles in this series are:
1. The Road from Rio - Questions the relevance and success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
3. The Trade Trap - Ghanaian farmers struggle to get a foothold in the international market.
4. Kosovo: Rebuilding the Dream - Assesses the success of UN efforts in rebuilding Kosovo.
5. The Perfect Famine - Examines the causes of, and solutions to, severe famine conditions in Malawi.
6. It Takes a Village - A cyclone in Bangladesh results in the construction of an experimental community health center.
7. Seeing is Believing - Zambia begins a nationwide program to deliver Vitamin A to its population.
8. Cheated of Childhood - The International Labor Organization tries to rescue and rehabilitate the street children of St. Petersburg.
9. Patents and Patients - India battles HIV/AIDS using generic drugs.
10. The Doctor's Story - The US debate over abortion has severe consequences for health care in rural Nepal.
11. Sowing Seeds of Hunger - The AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has crippled the agricultural community while forcing children to undertake the responsibilities of farming.
12. Up in Smoke - Dependence on tobacco crops and manipulation by the tobacco industry has stunted the economy of Malawi.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2003
Copyright Date: 2002
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-118-5
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-001-4
"Watching children working at this tedious, life-threatening work is an eye-opener. This documentary does not gloss over the many challenges of this complex problem and the devastating effects it can have on children and their families."
"A troubling examination of Guatemalan squalor, the video would be useful to school and college