Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The flying men of Yungas valley (aljazeera.net)
40 points by NonEUCitizen on May 21, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

As someone who lived in coastal ecuador for 6 months, and also visited Costa Rica for 2 months, I'd like to confirm the unbelievable absence of the "seven deadly sins". Most of the people in the rural areas live with the sole purpose of bettering the future of their children and community, and the concept of exploiting others for personal gain is completely alien to them. I feel that the subtitles do not do Severo's character justice both when he is talking about why his family lives in La Paz and also when he sees his family for the first time in a month.

Also, tourists may ride these cables in Costa Rica, where they are referred to as ziplines.

Anyone know how to get a mailing (shipping) address for the flying men of Yungas valley, or their families in La Paz?

Looks like they could use new harnesses, clips, and pulleys.

The way he routinely ties the knot to the bag his kid's in, and then calmly takes off (around the 3 minute mark).. I guess one can get used to anything.

His boy is not really pleased by the idea...

This is all very interesting and such, but using a simple, basic aerial tramway is not the same as flying.


+1 for the YouTube movie link [1], very illustrative. This is a documentary well worth viewing. I was surprised that the cocaleros remain a good sense of humor despite their dangerous (and subsistent) living style.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZEN-qA0e94

By the way, aren't coca leaves, apart from being chewed by the locals as a narcotic, also used to make, you know, cocaine?

Coca leaves are not a narcotic, when consumed in the traditional form (chewing or in brewed tea). Caffeine, tea, and tobacco are more addictive than chewing coca.

As you point out, coca leaves can be processed and refined to make cocaine. Analogous to how corn can be refined into high fructose corn syrup. Chewing corn all day won't give you diabetes, but drinking high-fructose corn syrup regularly will have negative effect on your health.

Oh, I know, a friend of mine worked in Bolivia for a summer and they chewed the leaves. I think they induced a sense of euphoria, but nothing too dramatic.

Having chewed coca leaves quite a bit travelling through Bolivia and Peru I can say the effects are generally quite mild. Done correctly with a small rock of compressed ash (usually from banana peels) your mouth and throat will numb and you will have a slight "buzz". It helps with altitude sickness a bit, but nowhere near as helpful as plenty of rest, water, and time.

Did you watch all the way through? When Severo hits the market they explain that about 1/3 of the coca leaves sold at the market end up being manufactured into cocaine. That really doesn't sound so bad...

I couldn't watch, the video wouldn't play. I'm not saying it's bad (it's no heroin or meth), just remarking on the phrasing.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact