Sewer-Diving Mexico City

Edible Geography has posted a must-read interview with Julio Cou Cámara, one of Mexico City’s famed sewer divers.

[Image: Diver Carlos Barrios is lowered into the sewers of Mexico City; Julio Cou Cámara can be seen on the right. Photo by Mary Jordan, courtesy of the Washington Post].

“Good afternoon,” the transcript of Cámara’s recent live presentation begins, “my name is Julio and I’m a diver in the sewage here in Mexico City. What I do is a bit weird. Most people, when I tell them that I’m a diver, they think, ‘Oh wow, that’s beautiful—the ocean and the beach.’ But no, we are divers of the sewage.”

I’m part of a team, and we work for the government in DF, in the Sistema de Aguas. We’re a water emergency team, so we participate in everything that has to do with flooding and repairing drainage systems. Under the city, under the streets where you walk, that’s where we dive.

The whole interview is well worth reading in full: Julio the Sewer Diver.

(Edible Geography‘s transcript of food historian Rachel Laudan is also fantastic).

2 thoughts on “Sewer-Diving Mexico City”

  1. Really? No one else wants to make the obvious joke?

    "Wow, what a shitty job."

    Seriously though, hate to be in his position if a leak is sprung. The slums and cleanliness, or lack thereof, in Mexico City is pretty legendary, I dunno if it's gotten any better but what he sees inches from his face must be the stuff of nightmares.

    I wonder if he cries inside, just a little bit, every time he flushes, knowing he may well be swimming back through it at some point.

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