Potosi is located at an altitude of over 4000 meters. The silver mine is the main source of income for the city and its inhabitants. About every male resident of the city works as an independent entrepreneur in the mine. Everything in the city revolves around the mine, which made potosí a very prosperous city in the past. The environment now, is increasingly affected by the ore that is extracted and processed into a powder of zinc, lead and silver, which is then exported all over the world.
The mine is curiously a high mountain called Cerro Rico (rich mountain), but due to the ongoing mining activities, the mountain has become porous and unstable. After 500 years of digging shafts, the upper part has now collapsed. Although silver is hard to find these days, men and boys keep searching day and night among the piles of ore for the silver that once made their city so rich.