Java is an island full of colour and life, where the temperamental Kawah Ijeb volcano rules over the landscape. The volcano is a source of both sustenance and danger for the people who call Java home. Porters climb down to the craggy depths of the volcano to gather sulphur, which they carry back up on their backs in loads of up to 80 kilos! It’s a grueling 11 hour day just to make two trips – yet these brave souls do it all for a meager 8 euro payoff.
The treacherous journey is not without its hazards either. Not only does the trek take them through unforgiving terrain, but the fumes from the sulphur singe their eyes and throats as they walk. The porters must cover their mouths with scarves in an effort to protect themselves from the toxic gas. Despite all this, many of them are driven by their commitment to feed their families and give their children a chance at a better life through education.
It’s incredible that anyone can survive such harsh conditions each and every day. If you want to learn more about this fascinating story, then be sure to check out “Life on Ijeb Volcano”, an eye-opening documentary about these courageous individuals who risk it all in pursuit of something better.