An honest job

I visited the eye of the hurricane today. With approximately 40 collectors, Cooper Glicério is the largest trash and recycling cooperative in São Paulo, according to founder Sergio Bispo. Workers collect and sort items daily and are then paid by either weight or time worked. They make anywhere from 670 to 1.340 reals (335 to 670 U.S. dollars) per month, a low salary when considering the city’s high cost of living.

But while the pay is low, Bispo is satisfied with working an honest job. And so is employee Andreía Emboara, pictured below.

She supports her three children on 1.200 reals (600 U.S. dollars) per month. When asked if it’s difficult to get by these low wages, Emboara explained that she’s always been able to support her children, but she can’t fulfill every desire. “God gives you the cold according to the blanket,” she said.

Andreía’s father, Arivaldo (pictured below) and uncle also work for the cooperative. While Andreía uses a car to collect garbage and recyclables, her father often hauls a heavy wooden cart.

20121226_Wilwerding_TrashCollection011But even the hard labor, dirt and sweat don’t seem to get him down. Arivaldo works with a smile on his face.

20121226_Wilwerding_TrashCollection016Check back for updates as I continue to follow the Emboava family and other members of the cooperative.

Until next time,

Cara Wilwerding

About Cara Wilwerding
Cara Wilwerding is a senior journalism major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She grew up in Omaha, Neb and started her journalism career at Omaha Westside High School. She writes for the Daily Nebraskan’s arts and entertainment section in addition to taking photos. She’s also traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, for a similar photojournalism project with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. This summer, she will work as an editorial and multimedia intern for, float down the Niobrara River and play a fair amount of ultimate frisbee. After graduating next spring, Wilwerding hopes to continue writing and photographing for an arts and entertainment publication.

One Response to An honest job

  1. Love the last picture, and the quote about the cold and the blanket. Good work! I enjoy looking at all the group is accomplishing! Enjoy the warm weather, because we are freezing back here in the midwest!

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