Smokey Mountain, the vast garbage dump in Manila has served for many years as an emblem of third world squalor – a metaphor for a planet slowly choking on garbage and waste. But for Fr Beltran, who served for three decades as a chaplain to the scavengers who survive off this reeking heap, it is also a metaphor of hope—an emblem of the will to survive, the ability to create joy and find meaning even in the midst of abject poverty. Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain describes the spiritual resilience of the scavengers of Smokey Mountain, and how they taught Beltran to read the Gospel with new eyes. The lessons he learned bear a message for all who struggle for a better world.
Benigno P Beltran
Benigno P Beltran is a Society of the Divine Word priest from the Philippines. He received a doctorate from the Gregorian University before working as a chaplain to the scavengers of Smokey Mountain. He has received many international awards for his work in community development projects.