Dear Bolivia Blog readers,
Just two weeks left to go. After many months of preparing for the country, the people and the language, the day of departure is almost within reach. The anticipation is of course huge, and we are excited to see how our expectations match up with reality.
Today we would like to present our highly varied travel itinerary.
We are looking forward to finally arriving in Bolivia following a roughly 20-hour journey from Zurich via Frankfurt am Main and Bogota (Colombia). In the morning after our arrival we will visit the capital city of La Paz and use the day to acclimatize. This is necessary because La Paz lies between 3’200 and 4’000 meters above sea level.
On the third day we will travel to Coro Coro municipality, roughly 100 kilometers south-west of La Paz. There we will visit villages with and without a supply of drinking water. One day later we will get stuck in and join Bolivian youths in helping beautify the village square in Caracato. We have some ideas, and we are interested to see how we can turn them into a reality. We will post photos to keep you up-to-date.
Painting, ruins and a small llama
In the evening we continue to Tiahuanacu, and the next morning we will visit the archaeologically important ruins of Tiwanaku. Wikipedia tells us that the name Tiwanaku means “Sit down, little llama”. We will ask if that’s true. On the same day we will take a detour to the world-renowned Lake Titicaca, and return to La Paz late in the evening.
Following many cultural experiences at South America’s largest freshwater lake, on the next day we will be able to get active again and demonstrate our creativity. Together with other youths we will paint the inner courtyard of an emergency shelter in El Alto near La Paz, featuring motifs from Bolivia and Switzerland. We will also help repaint the basketball courts (a popular sport in Bolivia). And what will it look like? We will see the next day.
In the afternoon of the seventh day of our journey we will visit the Instituto Tecnológico Don Bosco in El Alto. This training workshop is supported by Swisscontact (an independent foundation for international development cooperation) in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). There we will no doubt be able to draw comparisons with training in Switzerland.
We will then have the opportunity to spend some time exploring Colombia’s capital Bogota before returning to Switzerland a week after we arrived. In the morning we will visit a former salt mine and in the afternoon we will spend three hours exploring this city of 8 million people by bicycle.
Now all we have to do is go for it. You’ll be hearing from us. Until then!