Pink Sea Selfie Tourists Put Miners Out Of Business

Story ByAngjela TrajkovskaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCEN

Swarms of tourists taking selfies at this incredible ‘Pink Sea’ are putting the workers there who mine it for salt out of business because they keep getting in the way.

The salt mines of the village of Galerazamba in the municipality of Santa Catalina in the Bolivar department in northern Colombia re-opened their doors to the public this year after two years being out of function.

The waters in the salt mine are known as “El Mar Rosado” (‘The Pink Sea’) because they turn bright pink due to the production of an algae called artemia in the depths of the saline waters.

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Pictures Credit: CEN

Large numbers of tourists flock to the area to take photos of the pink water but the leader of the miners from the region, Dagoberto Vanegas, has said that the visitors have cost the workers money.

He explained that the number of tourists prevented miners from carrying out all the work they needed to do to extract the salt they needed before their licence ran out on 15th June.

He said: “The tourism brought by the pink water, prior to the extraction of salt, meant that miners did not have enough time for the process in its entirety […] that delayed the process and took winter from us.”

He explained that miners are in over 400 million COP (97,475 GBP) of debt, saying: “We had difficulties to commercialise the salt.”

When the salt mines re-opened, it was estimated that approximately 30 tonnes of salt would be extracted, but the miners could only collect half that amount.

He said: “With the touristic boom and the delay we extracted only 15 tons.”

The miners have now asked the National Mining Agency to extend their licence so the salt mine can continue operating until December, and allow them to process the salt that has already been extracted so it is easier to sell.

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Angjela Trajkovska

I am a journalist and subeditor working for Central European News.

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