Growing up in the remote mountains along Nicaragua’s border with Honduras, it was Neyrin Rivera’s job to mind the cows. When one wandered off, he knew he had to fetch it, or else face a hiding when he returned to the one-room, mud-brick shack he called home. But he didn’t know that he was following the errant cow into a minefield.
When the ground exploded beneath him, the seven-year-old had no idea what had happened. His leg had become a pulsating stump of blood, torn flesh, and protruding bone. “I didn’t know anything about mines, even what a mine was,” says Neyrin, now 11 and an old hand at riding a bicycle and playing football with the plastic prosthesis that replaced his right leg below the knee.