11 Dec. 2017
Wildcat gold miner, or garimpeiro, works at a wildcat mine, also known as garimpo, at a deforested area of Amazon rainforest near Crepurizao, in the municipality of Itaituba, Para State, Brazil, August 6, 2017. Nacho Doce: "This image is meaningful to me for two reasons. The first is the deep fatigue on the face of the young man I was photographing as he turned boulders in his search for gold. The second is that while on the long assignment I fell into a ravine and twisted my ankle. The pain made walking difficult, so while taking pictures of the man I had to sit rather than stand. Working on stories about wildcat gold mining in the Amazon is dangerous. But the hardest part of the whole long assignment was staying with the story until I had what I wanted. The miners live incredibly hard lives. Just to reach them meant travelling 24 hours by bus and eight hours by van and I couldn't reveal the exact place where I was working. Illegal miners have been at work in the Amazon for generations and there is constant tension between them and the big mining companies that have legal contracts. At the end of this assignment, I was happy. The wildcat miners helped me cope with my ankle and I rode home with a pastor who told me he believed in what I was doing. The help and support of the miners while I was working was crucial. To make pictures isn't just an individual thing - it requires a team." REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File photo SEARCH "POY STORY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.