Many sectors of the global economy may be struggling in the recession, but precious metals remain a valuable commodity.
Over the last 10 years, the price of gold has risen sharply, peaking at $1,921 an ounce in September and now hovering around $1,730 an ounce.
In the first of a four-part series on how people are taking extreme measures to get their hands on precious metals, Al Jazeera takes a look at Guatemalans who are braving dangerous conditions to search for gold.
David Mercer reports from Guatemala City, the capital.
Source: Al Jazeera