Santa Bárbara’s Legacy: An Environmental History of Huancavelica, Peru
Nicholas A. Robins, North Carolina State University
In Santa Bárbara’s Legacy: An Environmental History of Huancavelica, Peru, Nicholas A. Robins presents the first comprehensive environmental history of a mercury producing region in Latin America. Tracing the origins, rise and decline of the regional population and economy from pre-history to the present, Robins explores how people’s multifaceted, intimate and often toxic relationship with their environment has resulted in Huancavelica being among the most mercury-contaminated urban areas on earth. The narrative highlights issues of environmental justice and the toxic burdens that contemporary residents confront, especially many of those who live in adobe homes and are exposed to mercury, as well as lead and arsenic, on a daily basis. The work incorporates archival and printed primary sources as well as scientific research led by the author.