Excerpt and images from Residing with Volcanoes by Cris Toala Olivares. Copyright © 2022 by Cris Toala Olivares. Reprinted by permission of Lannoo Publishers.
Visiting the island of Fogo in Cape Verde in 2014 was a uncommon probability to individuals who really stay in a crater of a volcano, facet by facet with lava. I needed to see this with my very own eyes, regardless of the difficulties I had reaching the island, together with a six-hour trip in a cargo boat that left many fellow travellers seasick.
Whereas I used to be there, the Cha das Caldeiras neighborhood within the crater was being evacuated by authorities because the lava movement from an eruption engulfed their land and homes. Regardless of the hazards, the folks had been passionately attempting to return to their houses as a result of connection they really feel with the place they’re from. They had been making an attempt to power their method again in, saying: “I used to be born with lava, and I’ll die with lava.”
I met and travelled with volcano information Manuel throughout my go to. Like many residents of the crater, he was a assured character and strongly connected to his lifestyle. Most individuals would transfer away from the lava, however he was determined to stay and assist his associates and neighbors. Whereas I used to be with him, I felt secure, he understood the lava tracks and he knew the place to stroll and the place to keep away from.
After I was within the crater, I skilled how it’s to stay on this atmosphere: it’s like being within the volcano’s womb. You’re feeling warmth throughout you, as if you’re in an oven, and there’s a comforting circulation of heat and dry winds. This was additionally the primary time I noticed flowing rivers of vivid pink lava. The folks right here have every little thing they want, and so they know methods to work with the character surrounding them. Additionally they produce meals for all of Cape Verde on the volcanic soils of their farms, together with beans, fruit, and wine. Everybody lives shut by one another, many in the identical home. As a result of dangers of the lava, they know the significance of cooperation and solidarity.
I used to be struck by the loyalty and the bond these folks must their traditions and the life they know. In a world the place many others like to maneuver round and life change so quick, it was inspiring to see folks wanting to carry onto their method of doing issues it doesn’t matter what.