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Bolivia Social Manager's Blog

Music workshop in Bolivia: the story of a poncho and a zampoña   (published in Bolivia)

October 3, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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When music is so intertwined to cultural expressions of a country, the best mean to widen your comprehension of such place is to get in touch with local rhythms and tunes.

Bolivia falls perfectly on the description above since each indigenous group coexisting in this country comes attached to a wide range of melodic variations not to mention the sounds that result of the meeting between cultures.

Because of that, Projects Abroad Bolivia organizes from time to time music workshops to offer a different perspective of the country to volunteers in destination. Sometimes the instrument chosen is a tarka (a rustic Andean flute), charango (similar to a small guitar), or zampoña (Andean pan flute) depending on the public preferences.

We hadn't organized a music workshop for a while, so we arranged one this week to welcome our coworker from South Africa, Justine McCarthy.


Justine and volunteers in destination were given a poncho to get into the proper zone to play a zampoña, and then Freddy, our music supervisor, introduce them to the basics of this wind instrument.

Though it was a bit hard to figure out how to get the sounds desired from the tubular instrument, little by little everybody was able to get the tune taught.


Who would have guessed the poncho power when learning how to play a zampoña!

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Music workshop in Bolivia: the story of a poncho and a zampoñahttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/368940/music-workshop-in-bolivia-the-story-of-a-poncho-and-a-zampoa
Music workshop in Bolivia: the story of a poncho and a zampoña
 

World Heart Day in Bolivia: an opportunity to give back something to the community   (published in Bolivia)

September 30, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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Did you know that heart diseases are the leading cause of death for both men and women in many countries around the world? Did you know that you can prevent heart diseases and control cardiac risk factors by healthy habits and regular cardiac examinations?

Simple actions like exercising, avoiding smoking, cutting down on salt, sugar, cholesterol and saturated fat products can make a huge difference however many of them are put on a second place until it’s too late.

Forget about the myth that heart diseases are a health problem of high income countries only. Middle and low income countries face this issue too as an outcome of life habit change around the world.

Forget about the assumption that only older adults are the ones that must worry about heart disease. Actions to prevent this sort of illness are more effective if they are followed since childhood.

Because of it, information and education are very important to address this problem at all levels. A well informed person can become an agent of change in his/her community and save some lives along the way.

Following this premise Projects Abroad Bolivia decided to carry on a two part activity to commemorate the World Heart Day.

Rocio Triveño, Medical Supervisor for Projects Abroad Bolivian explains: "we wanted to give our volunteers not only an opportunity gain new skills and knowledge on the subject, but also an opportunity to give back something to the community, so we came up with this workshop/outreach activity".


First, our volunteers in destination participated on a medical workshop to learn not only about heart disease basics, but also how to conduct a cardiac rhythm auscultation, and pulse and blood pressure checking.

Patrick Hebbert, a volunteer from UK that learnt for the first time how to check blood pressure comments about it: "it was really interesting. I had never done something like that before, but once I got into it, it was really great".


And so it was until the second phase of the activity took place. We decided it to carry on a medical outreach at San Jose Nursing Home to apply all the things learnt since age is one of the most important risk factors to develop a heart disease (with a tripling of risk with each decade of life approx.),

"It was awesome!" shares with us Molly Neylon, a volunteer from Australia that is currently studying Nursing, when commenting how much she had enjoyed working with elderly people during the outreach.

 

Grandpas and grandmas loved activity too. We were asked to come back in another opportunity (especially to check blood pressure), and we are looking forward to do it again!

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World Heart Day in Bolivia: an opportunity to give back something to the communityhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/368691/world-heart-day-in-bolivia-an-opportunity-to-give-back-something-to-the-community
World Heart Day in Bolivia: an opportunity to give back something to the community
 

Commemorating Ozone Day in Bolivia: a moment to start taking actions as a community   (published in Bolivia)

September 19, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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When we talk about environmental issues nowadays, we should think what sort of world we want our children to live because this imprints on the discussion an intergenerational outlook that force us analyze the impact of our actions beyond our near future.

It doesn't matter where you live, what you do or which country you are from, we have an obligation to start taking measures to leave a world in similar or better conditions than the one we have inherited.

It sounds rather easier to say it than do it, but there are small actions that we can be engaged on as a community to start changing things around and inspire others to follow our green lead.

Here are some eco-friendly ideas that our co-partners in Bolivia, and volunteers in destination have carried on recently. Hope they inspire you to change a bit of your own world.

*Pedestrian Day in Bolivia: a day on which use of cars is not allowed to encourage people to walk and use bicycles instead.


*Eco-friendly greenhouse made with recycled bottles: plastic bottles are everywhere and we can re-use them to build new things.


*Planting trees to prevent soil erosion on areas that were deforested at local orphanage.


*Workshop on Ozone Day at local day care: Little children are our future, they must be aware of this environmental issue as soon as possible to start changing things around.


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Commemorating Ozone Day in Bolivia: a moment to start taking actions as a communityhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/367150/commemorating-ozone-day-in-bolivia-a-moment-to-start-taking-actions-as-a-community
Commemorating Ozone Day in Bolivia: a moment to start taking actions as a community
 

Celebrating World Literacy Day in Bolivia!   (published in Bolivia)

September 12, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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This week we celebrated Literacy Day, so we decided to organize a special activity in one of the orphanages we work with to motivate children to keep learning to write and read. We started with a reading circle, then a drawing and writing activity and finally we donate some school material to children. Next time we'll take more notebooks with us as the children were fighting over them!

 

 


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Celebrating World Literacy Day in Bolivia!https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/366421/celebrating-world-literacy-day-in-bolivia
Celebrating World Literacy Day in Bolivia!
 

Happy Pedestrian Day!   (published in Bolivia)

September 9, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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If you had visited a Bolivian city last Sunday, you would have run into hordes of cyclists of all ages. Forget about cars, taxis, or buses. It was Pedestrian Day in Bolivia!

For those unfamiliar with such day, suffice to say that it was a public measure created to decrease carbon monoxide levels in the air and encourage people to walk and do some exercise outdoors.

So on that day all means of transportation with internal combustion engines are forbidden circulate from midnight to 6 pm. Besides that, all sorts of cultural and musical activities are organized to convince even to the most reluctant neighbor to join the spirit of the day.

Do you celebrate a day like this one in your country?

Here in our city we celebrate Pedestrian Day three times per year.

 

 

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Happy Pedestrian Day!https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/365946/happy-pedestrian-day
Happy Pedestrian Day!
 

Urkupiña’s Festivity   (published in Bolivia)

August 15, 2014 by  

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The celebration days continue in Bolivia through August. This time we make a stop to commemorate Urkupiña, a religious festivity that combines a pilgrimage and a dance parade in a three day celebration to showcase the believers’ gratitude to Urkupiña’s Virgin for all the favours received.

We took our volunteers in destination to see the dance parade and they were surprised by the vibrant and colourful cultural diversity of our country.

Enjoy the pics!


 


 

 


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Urkupiña’s Festivityhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/363180/urkupias-festivity
Urkupiña’s Festivity
 

Celebrating Bolivia's Independence Day   (published in Bolivia)

August 8, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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Some days ago we celebrate another year of Independence in Bolivia with civic parades all over our country. Anyone who makes a special contribution to society was there including volunteers. Yes, our volunteers! Tunari Centre, our co-partner in the Equine Therapy program, participated on the parade, so volunteers got the chance to ride the children they work with on the horses that day. Suffice to say that the public applauded them during all the way. Way to go guys!

 


 


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Celebrating Bolivia's Independence Dayhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/361850/celebrating-bolivias-independence-day
Celebrating Bolivia's Independence Day
 

Making new friends   (published in Bolivia)

August 4, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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Making new friends is definitely an unexpected reward of volunteering because you come across amazing people with the same interests you have and going through the same things you are that it's inevitable that you form bonds with them that remain long after you have gone back home.

These international friends that you've made have a special place for you forever because they helped you to make your volunteering experience what it was, something to remember fondly, and it's not unusual that you find yourself planning you next adventure overseas together.

To celebrate the International Friendship Day, we decided to ask some volunteers in destination what they think about it, and this is what we were told:

“People that I’ve met, the friends that I’ve made here, definitely made the experience what it is. I got to know people from all over the world that I have never had gotten to meet. And experience such a new thing, a new city, a new project, helping people, it’s really cool to know that they will always be a part of that experience and we’ll stay in contact hopefully forever” (Aleia from US).

“I was quite worried before coming here that I wouldn't make so many friends. And it’s surprisingly very easy because you are kind of joined, you are doing the same thing, you all have kind of the same purpose, coming here, travelling, helping people, so don't worry about not being able to make friends because it happens very easily. And I’m glad I did, so I’m sure that you’ll be glad as well” (Beca from Whales).

 “I’ve definitely made some plans with friends that I’m going to keep in touch with which makes it better because then you get to go home and not only you had this amazing experience, but you’ve made friends and for me it’s the best feeling that you can get” (Anthonie from Belgium).

So there you have… another good reason to volunteer… making new friends!

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Making new friendshttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/360610/making-new-friends
Making new friends
 

Let's create together the football stars of tomorrow!   (published in Bolivia)

July 16, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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In spirit of the World Cup, Projects Abroad launched a global campaign in all the destinations with football volunteering programs to highlight how this event brings people together from all over the world, and showcase the incredible work done by volunteers in each destination.

The office of Projects Abroad in Bolivia decided to organize a football tournament as part of this campaign to encourage local soccer schools to keep working with children under the premise: “let's create together the football stars of tomorrow”.

Fredy Mita, Sports Program Supervisor for Bolivia, explains about it: "our intention was to give local soccer schools a working purpose during the winter break, so the children have a reason to train and play during this time of the year on which there is no tournaments at all, but also unify people around this activity, parents, Football Association, Referees Association, sports press, children and of course our volunteers".


And so it was. All volunteers in destination were given different roles during the tournament. Medical volunteers were there to offer medical assistance, others to cheer up the schools in competition, and even some worked as line referees too.


Alice Jamison, a volunteer from US that worked as line referee, says:" I'm really surprised about the level of the children. When I was their age, I used to kick around the ball and run after it. That was all, but they are really good".

Each of all the seven schools that participated, Pelota de Trapo, Real Cochabamba, Real Quillacollo, Maria Auxiliadora, Enrique Happ, Beato Salomón, and Unión del Valle, sent their best 9 and 10 year old players, and the children assumed the game very seriously and so did the parents who were there to cheer up their sons during the 3 days that lasted the tournament.


"It's a really good thing that you have organized this tournament. These children have a reason to play. There are too many gangs in the neighborhood, so football is something good for them. They train in a dirt field handed over by the City Hall and this is the first time that they win", shared the father of Ruben, one of the children whose team won the championship.

The award ceremony was full of joy. The team, who won the tournament, Real Quillacollo, was the happiest of them all of course and even though the trophy was as big as some of the players, children didn't want to put it down. “We are from Real Quillacollo and we won the Projects Abroad Tournament”, they shouted out loud while jumping around with a trophy well deserved after a nerve wracking match defined by penalties.


Seeing the results achieved, the Director of Projects Abroad Bolivia, Carmen Herbas, expressed to the audience that day her hope that tournament becomes an annual event. "That we keep working together with children, the schools and Football Association to really honor the slogan of this event: let's create together the football stars of tomorrow ”.

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Let's create together the football stars of tomorrow!https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/356952/lets-create-together-the-football-stars-of-tomorrow
Let's create together the football stars of tomorrow!
 

Recycling activity - Eco-friendly building project   (published in Bolivia)

June 20, 2014 by  

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Last month we started and eco-friendly building project in a country town nearby our city as part of the EveryDayIsEarthDay Campaign launched by Projects Abroad at that time.

We used recycled bottles to build a greenhouse for a local school that reinforces agricultural skills on their students.

On that opportunity, we managed to build a 17 meter wall and promised to go back with more bottles and hands to finish our work.

Now we're collecting bottles from volunteers, host families and local schools to be ready for the next phase of this activity.

If you have recycled bottles that we can use, don't throw them away. Please help us to help!

 

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Recycling activity - Eco-friendly building projecthttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/bolivia-social-manager/read/351246/recycling-activity-ecofriendly-building-project
Recycling activity - Eco-friendly building project