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The Mountain that Eats Men: 2nd Place – Nathan Longenecker, Lancaster Mennonite School

Happy in their homeland.
Happy cause they’re free.
Then in come the Spanish
and take it all away.

They are forced to march
to the mountain that eats men.
Where they will dig the silver
from the mines of Cerro Rico.

There they meet scores of workers,
from other lands afar.
Aymara, Quechua and even Africans,
at the mountain that eats men.

The ringing of their picks
haunts the city below.
The miners offer gifts to “Tio”
the mythical deity of the mountain.

The city Potosi
has no signs of wealth,
You would expect to see more riches
from the mountain that eats men.

But the Spanish take the silver,
and ship it across the sea.
It would be of better use
at the city of Potosi.

The slaves just get to work,
work their life away.
Most would die by 50,
cause many passed away.

They say you could make a bridge of silver
from Potosi to Spain.
And one right next to it made of bones
from the millions eaten by the mountain.

It would continue many years,
three centuries to be exact.
But the legacy still goes on today
at the mountain that eats men.


  • Absi, Pascale. “The Treasure Of The Cerro Rico.” UNESCO Courier 50.12 (1997): 36. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 16 Jan. 2015.
  • Clifford, Tom. “Cerro Rico, Potosi: The Mine That Funded an Empire.”Global Research. Global Research, 18 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Jan. 2015.
  • Zoellner, Tom. “The Mountain That Eats Men: Dark Ecotourism in Potosi, Bolivia.” World Literature Today 1 May 2014: n. pag. Web.
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