Written by Staff Writer at CNN
The sun beat down on Loreto’s coastal villages all night. It blazed into the freezing morning in the land, triggering volcanic eruptions and shrub fires. Dust storms and chimneys dotted the countryside as glowing lava rained down from the peaks.
By day, the landscape has changed. Coupled with droughts, the sun’s rays are present all year round, and many sources of natural water are now almost unusable. Other rains, and the village springs that once nurtured mountain communities, are now practically nonexistent.
Blindness caused by dust, ash and light dust is rising in Bolivia’s southwest.
Photographer Milton Ballecu is concerned that this extreme environment will generate infections and epidemics that could kill some of the region’s estimated 10,000 people
“My fear is that this will happen if people are not careful. This sun isn’t normal, and we will bring us diseases from it,” he said.
Ballecu, an Ecuadorian designer, began documenting the effects of this new model on the area last year with the intention of bringing attention to its many serious health risks. He hopes his photography could inspire his subjects to take action.
“If you live in a developed country, then you think you can plan your future because of what’s going to happen in the future. But these people have no future,” he said.