The Rio Guaire is a small river in Venezuela, and the only one in the valley of Caracas. Since the end of the nineteenth century, it has served as a sewer for the entire capital. Since the beginning of the 21st century, it has been in a very troublesome ecological state. Today a bunch of gold seekers live by the river in extremely difficult conditions. Behind them is the capital’s two-lane expressway, with the river and its men and women trying to survive by draining the ground with their hands for items to sell. A gold ring is found in the waters of the Rio Guaire. The ring’s owner now has enough savings to leave the country and wishes to go to live in Spain, but the country will not issue him a residence permit. The youngest gold seekers go down the river to explore at the beginning of the week. It is a dangerous territory and valued by others, so confrontations with other gold seekers are not uncommon. The river inlet on the edge of the Petare neighborhood has become a veritable open-air dump. Oliver Espana, 16, has been a gold miner for about two years since he lost his father. He earns about 40,000 bolivars a day, the equivalent of $16. Oliver Paredes, 18 years old, looks in the palm of his hands after scraping the floor to find the slightest bit of precious metal. On good days he can make up to 20 bucks. The bottom of this arm of the Rio Guaire is near the crowded neighborhood slum of Petare, which is completely saturated all kinds of waste verging on a landfill or garbage. The lean booty of the day includes any type of metal; a faucet valve, a watch bracelet, a fork and bullet casings. All are looking for lost gold jewelry flushed down a toilet or washed down a drain by mistake. Many gold seekers live in crowded districts like Petare, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in South America. Families live in the most difficult conditions, and each person has to do as much as they can to make a few dollars. The extreme poverty of the population is due to Venezuela’s unprecedented economic crisis. Once one of Latin America’s richest countries, it is now plagued with shortages of everything from toilet paper to antibiotics and food. Most young people want to see President Maduro leave but even if he were to go they no longer have much hope for their future. In the cities jewelry stalls offer to buy gold and precious metals at black market prices. It is an illegal business because then industry is regulated and supervised by the government, but the stores accept this risk in order to stay in business. In the back of a hairdresser shop a gold buyer tests a small jewel. For this purpose he rubs the object on a touchstone, The touchstone is a piece of flat, hard and rough black jasper on which the metal is rubbed. In addition, acids are used to verify the titration (% fine metal content). The future is uncertain for all these people who work in the river, even if the government were to change, the living conditions of the most precarious would take years to improve. Venezuelans are trying whatever they can to survive.