Rain forest redemption

Priest tends to miners, prostitutes deep in Peru’s Amazon

Posted: January 27, 2018 at 1:52 a.m.

Illegal gold miners walk in a mining camp in Boca Colorado, part of Peru’s Madre de Dios province in the Amazon. It’s this forlorn corner of the Amazon that Pope Francis visited Jan. 19 amid what has been called a modern-day gold rush of illegal miners threatening the world’s largest rain forest.

Below an umbrella of trees deep in the Peruvian Amazon, drunken miners carry on their shoulders the casket of a man whose search for gold ended with a bullet in his stomach.

The Rev. Pablo Zabala explains to 5-year-old Valentino Cahuata how to properly ring the church bell to call the faithful to Mass.

The Rev. Pablo Zabala squirts holy water from a recycled water bottle during his last Mass as the parish priest in Boca Colorado, part of Peru’s Madre...

Padre Pablo wields his machete while harvesting bananas on land owned by the Catholic Church in Boca Colorado, part of Peru’s Madre de Dios region in ...

The Rev. Pablo Zabala, better known as Padre Pablo, presides over a burial service for miner Juan Peralta at the Delta 1 cemetery in Peru’s Madre de D...

Father Zabala fishes with residents in a pool he converted into a natural pond to grow fish for consumption in Boca Colorado, part of Peru’s Madre de ...

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