Marina Pérez, 
a struggling and inspiring woman miner

For a little more than 3 years, Marina Isabel Pérez works as an operator of the processing plant in the small scale mining organization Minas y Cuevas, located in the municipality of Macuelizo, in the department of Santa Bárbara, Honduras. There, this 25-year old woman is in charge of watching for the proper operation of the machines that process the material for gold extraction. 

“This Project has been good since the very beginning, because it involves many people who have struggled and we have stood against several things to push through, and here we are, still making progress,” She says from her experience.

The sky is still dark. Marina wakes up at 3 am. Leaves food ready for her 2 daughters and goes to work, where she has 12-hour shifts, from 6 am to 6 pm. Her daughters are her motivation for every day.

 “What I love the most in my life is my daughters. I want to see a good future for them so they don’t have to suffer what I have.”

Marina is a strong, inspiring woman. Seeing her work in the processing plant shows her passion for her job and what it represents for her: a way to make a living and strive for her husband and daughters.

 Currently, she knows how the machines in the plant work, as her duty consists of operating them every day.

Her work as a woman miner

Marina got into mining looking for economic opportunities. At the beginning, before Minas y Cuevas formally existed, she was dedicated to rock extraction. But things are different nowadays, she says, because now there are rules, protocols, and work in the mining organization is performed in a more organized way.

“My dream as a woman miner is to move ahead and progress. I want this project to work and keep growing.”

Marina is proud to belong to an organization that, in addition to open its doors to her, has made her brave and empowered. She says that what she likes the most about her work is to be surrounded by nature and work with men who respect her and gave her a place.

 “Working among men is different, but thank God they have never been disrespectful to us women,” says Marina.

Like Marina, there are many people from the communities around the organization who see in mining a job opportunity and better living conditions for their families. This way, Minas y Cuevas represents a benefit for over 300 families.

From her experience, Marina invites other men and women miners to not give up and fight for their projects. She goes after a very important one: her family wellbeing.

A message for gold market: Support the ASM sector

“My message for the gold market is to look at our material, because it is very good and with excellent quality,” says Marina, “Despite there are good and bad times in mining, you can always push through, and with the support of allied organizations and the gold market, you can always get further.”

Marina’s story is inspirational, full of perseverance and tenacity. She is a mining woman determined to progress and give her children a better future thanks to small scale mining.

Minas y Cuevas is part of the Project Honduras: Land of Golden Shining, developed through the Sustainable Mines Program, The Alliance for Responsible Mining, and the organizations that support and work with Minas y Cuevas on its path of continuous improvement, for the wellbeing and benefit of men and women miners like Marina and their families.  

Get to know more about the Project here.

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