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Jean-Cosme Delaloye


The day I discovered the Chureca, the Managua city dump, my life changed. It was in February 2011 and I was working on a radio documentary for Swiss Public Radio. I was a reporter struggling to find an answer to one basic question about his job: What impact do we have on the people we do stories on? I had reported on many critical events around the world, the last major one being the earthquake in Haiti. I had come back from that country full of praise from others but also full of doubts about journalism.

This was the state of mind I was in, when I started working on BY MY SIDE. I met a lot of incre-dible people in the Chureca, but 3 young women stood out: Dominga, Fabiola and Maryuri. I made the film because I want their voices to be heard. Dominga, a 25 year-old woman with terminal Aids, has taught me courage. Despite everything that happened to her, she does not question the events that made her sick. Maryuri, a pregnant 19 year-old woman, and 11 year-old Fabiola have this in common with Dominga. Despite the fact that they live and work in a garbage dump, they don’t complain about their life. They dream about leaving the Chureca, but complaining is simply not something they do. They fight for one single right: the right to survive. And in that respect, they have a lot to teach to each and everyone of us.