EFEBy Genesis Carrero Soto and Hector Pereira Zulia/Bolivar states, Venezuela

Genderson stands at the edge of a ravine in the northwestern Venezuelan city of Maracaibo while a machine removes the lion's share of a mountain of foul-smelling garbage, waiting his turn to rummage among the leftover trash in search of precious "chatarra," or scrap metal.

Dozens of other young men also conduct that same search every day in the capital of the once-wealthy western oil state of Zulia, looking for pieces of iron, steel or copper they can sell later at junkyards for a few dollars to feed their families.