Northern Colombia is home to Bajo Cauca, a region found more than 180 miles north of Medellín. Here, the stunning landscape is marked by water and seemingly endless expanses. Despite their environment, every day, local children face the rugged, unpredictable wilderness – with just one goal in mind: making it to school.
Because for them, going to school is a chance to break out of poverty and create a better life. For ten-year-old Kendys and other school children like him, it’s a crucial step towards fulfilling their aspirations.
To reach their lessons, these youngsters have to subject themselves to a harrowing daily dose of danger. For instance, some of them must cross a ramshackle bridge that could disintegrate at any minute. Any false move could result in drowning or severe injury.
Ten-year-old Juan, although he doesn’t have to navigate the bridge, must cross a river in an unstable canoe then trudge through deep mud brimming with stingrays. In spite of all of this, he’s grateful that he can attend school as it brings him one step closer to his dream of moving to a big city.
The children face these dangerous conditions in extreme environments. In the morning, the temperature often exceeds 34 degrees Celsius with humidity levels as high as 97 percent. Every day, the children carry not only a backpack but also the fear of traversing one of the world’s most dangerous ways to school.
Check out the Most Dangerous Ways To School – Colombia documentary to learn more about the struggles these children encounter daily. Their resilience, sacrifice and eventual success stories will leave you with a newfound appreciation for not only your own education, but also the effort made by children around the world to gain knowledge against seemingly impossible odds.