For more than 50 years, Baltazar Ushca Tenesaca has been ascending Ecuador’s tallest mountain to harvest glacial ice. At one time, there were 40 or so ice merchants who made the daily trek up the active volcano.
But now, only Ushca continues this 500-year-old tradition. And while the demand for ice isn’t as high as it once was, Tenesaca’s harvesting methods remain the same. Despite the challenges, this ice merchant is as dedicated to his work as ever.
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