Opium poppies bloom into spectacular deep shades of cream and maroon in the Kachin hills of Northern Myanmar. Rolling through the small dirt roads are ancient Chinese-made pick up trucks brimming with young men and women, machetes in hand. These are the Pat Ja San, Myanmar’s Christian Opium crusaders.
Hpakant found the attention of the international media in the past few months due to several devastating deadly landslides, claiming hundreds of lives. Hpakant is also a hot bed for opium cultivation, most workers are young men from all of Myanmar who go to Kachin to find their fortunes. However, working conditions are poor and the life difficult, many fall victim to hard drugs and extreme poverty.