Fire, Cape Verde – When the Fogo volcano, one of the 10 islands that make up the West African nation of Cape Verde, last erupted in 2014, lava buried homes and flooded roads. He also swallowed up schools and tore up precious fields of grapes and figs.
Instead of moving, the people of Cha das Caldeiras, a village inside a crater and at the foot of the active volcano, counted the days until they could come back and rebuild – as they do. always.
Although the volcano has erupted six times in the past 200 years, the crater is their home, they say. They don’t know any other way of life and don’t want to.
Cha, as the village is known locally, is ripe for growing a variety of crops, which residents export to other islands. Locals also make a lot of money welcoming the thousands of tourists who visit each year to climb the 2,900-meter (9,514-foot) summit – so well worth the time and money it costs to rebuild. every two decades.
“I was born here. My land is here. My village is here,” said Ramiro Montrond, who has run a wine tasting bar in Cha for over 40 years. “My whole life is here.”