From the Highlands of Guatemala


monster-children-pearce-leal-volcanos-4Photos and captions by Pearce Leal

“These photos are from the south of Guatemala. The highlands are made up of a series of high valleys enclosed by mountains. Most of these mountains are dormant volcanoes but there are a select few that are still active…as I found out on the last days of the trip. People live at the base of these volcanoes despite the threat of them erupting once or twice a year. How severe would an eruption be? They will not know until the thing blows its lid.”

—Pearce Leal

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monster-children-pearce-leal-volcanos-7“Once a year the catholic community gather for Holy Week to walk the streets carrying religious floats which are pushed late into the night.

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monster-children-pearce-leal-volcanos-11“What became a common site in the highland villages—fog, cement, and half built houses.”

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monster-children-pearce-leal-volcanos-21“Late on the last day of the trip through the highlands, a plume of smoke was spotted at a distance. The volcano close to the small village where I was staying was heating up. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the mountain blew its lid and continued into the night and morning. Small villages around the base of the volcano were evacuated. As I left that morning it was still spitting lava.”

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monster-children-pearce-leal-volcanos-16“Fruit, veg and flowers are all grown locally in the volcanic soil.”

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