Valuing an Ancient Vocation

Valuing an Ancient Vocation

In this lesson, students watch the short film, The Last Ice Merchant by Sandy Patch, which tells the story of Baltazar Ushca who has harvested the glacial ice on the highest altitudes of Mount Chimborazo, the tallest mountain in Ecuador, for over 50 years. Cultural changes in this small indigenous community led his brothers to seek other work, but Baltazar continues on alone, the last ice merchant of Chimborazo. In classroom discussion, students examine an ancient vocation and the impacts of modernization and climate change on an old way of life. Reflective writing prompts are also included for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story.