45 metres high, at the edge of the Acapulco cliff in Mexico, Alexis prepares to jump. After a few tense seconds, he leaps into the waves below, nearing the cries of excited spectators. At only 17 years old, Alexis is one of the mythic divers from Acapulco in Mexico. This profession is very dangerous, but it also has its rules, myths and specific training methods.
But danger is not always alluring. Far from Mexico’s paradisiacal beaches, Julio Cesar plunges into the town’s sewage water, surrounded by rats. It is a dirty job, ‘but someone has to do it,’ the diver explains. For more than 30 years, Julio has been tackling these black waters in order to manually decongest sewers and pipelines. This is a crucial task in a town that produces 12 700 tons of waste on a daily basis. Dressed in a scuba suit to avoid infection, this diver is forced to face the unimaginable. Having even found dead bodies in the water, Julio works for a meagre 360 euros a month.
Are these professions ultimately worth the risk? These are Mexico’s most difficult jobs.
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