Kawah Ijen: A Day in the Mines

At the eastern end of the island of Java lies the active volcano of Kawah Ijen. Here men work in perilous conditions to mine suffer from the bottom of the caldera. Ceramic pipes funnel the sulfur until it condenses into pools at the bottom that can be broken up. The miners carry these loads of solidified sulfur, weighing 150 to 200 pounds, up and out of the crater on a steep loose trail for three miles to the weigh station. Most workers develop respiratory problems from the noxious gases and disfigure their bodies from the heavy loads. All this for five dollars a day, ten if they can take two trips.