The Brutal side of Beauty
Please spare 12 minutes of you valuable time and watch this two heartbreaking stories explaining our involvement in assisting the sulfur porters of East Java.
The journey starts with a comfortable 3.8 km hike up the slop of a volcano to the rim of the crater. Next follows an almost 175 meters vertical drop down into the steaming, smoking gut of the volcano. The porters then need to protect their faces with mostly a wet rug and step right into the poisonous fumes and chip out blocks of the hardened sulfur with which they fill two baskets weighting each about 35-40 kg. A bamboo stick then connects the basket and the porters carry the load back up to the rim of the volcano and then almost 4 kilometers down to the collection point. The entire journey for one load takes approximately 5 hours for which the porters receives 800 Rupiahs (7 cent US) per kilogram.
One porter makes two trips daily, and this six days in a row, and then has to rest for one week.
800 Rupiahs per kg x 70 = Rp.56’000
2 loads a day = Rp.112’00
All this hard work for less then = US$ 10 a day
Average life expectation 45 years