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August 2011

Visitors from Los Yungas!!!   (published in Bolivia)

August 25, 2011 by   Comments(0)

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Bolivia is a country where you do not know what you may find. We proved this once more when we decided to bring a little piece of Los Yungas, the Bolivian paradise located in the north of La Paz, to Projects Abroad office, for one of our September social activities.

For most of the people, Los Yungas is just know by the famous Death Road, a tourist attraction for adrenaline yonkies, which overshadow the wonderful culture developed by the Afro-Bolivian community that live and survive surrounded by one of the most beautiful Bolivian landscapes, the high jungle.

Therefore it was really a surprise for our volunteers when an Afro-Bolivian community of musicians and dancers arrived to our office playing drums and “regue-regues” while they sang "Oeoe Oeoe venimos de los Yungas sí señor Oeco Oeoe venimos de los Yungas sí señor" as an informal way to introduce themselves to us. 

It was Saya time!!!

We didn’t remain so much time in our seats because they invited us to dance and discover some “Saya moves” that our hips did not know that they were capable of. It was quite an exercise actually because “Saya” is a catchy Bolivian dance that combines rhythms from Africa, the Andes and the some other tunes all the same time.

We laughed, we danced, we enjoyed, and now we hope that someday this Afro-Bolivian group can go back to our office one more time.

Mariel Torrez M.

Social Manager Bolivia


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Visitors from Los Yungas!!!
Visitors from Los Yungas!!!

Salar de Uyuni: whatever you´ve heard about it is not enough (by Lorena Tomas Laudo)   (published in Bolivia)

August 18, 2011 by   Comments(0)

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The Salar de Uyuni is undoubtedly one of the ‘must see’ places in Bolivia and after having been there I completely understand why.

It is the biggest salt flat in the world with 12000 square kilometres and it is also one of the most amazing places I have ever seen.

It is a long trip from Cochabamba, as you have to take the bus to Oruro and then the train to Uyuni. Overall, it takes around 10 hours to get there, however, once you are there you forget about the long trip straight away.

Gerben and I went there in an organized tour. We started having lunch in Oruro, in one of the best restaurants where you have to eat lamb, as it is the speciality. Then we took the train to Uyuni and we had an adventurous start of the trip: we crashed into a lorry! In Bolivia anything can happen! Thanks God the train had just come out of the station so it did notgo very fast and nothing serious happened (but we have a funny anecdote!). Seven hours later on we arrived in Uyuni. Uyuni is like a ghost town and it is also freezing cold.

The next morning we started our wonderful tour by going to the Cementerio de Trenes (Trains Cementery) where the old trains that used to go to Oruro and Potosi remain. It is a magical place. We continued to Colchani, a tiny village where people elaborate salt. Then we went to the Hotel de Sal (Salt hotel) to see how you can actually build a place out of salt and finally we went to La Isla del Pescado, a small island full of cactus, where we had the most incredible views of the Salar.



We went to all these places by 4x4. It was actually a bit scary when we first drove through the Salar as it looks like the layer of salt may break! You have to go there with an expert driver because it is too easy to get lost - all you can see is white eternity. We were extremely lucky because as it had just snowed the week before, the Salar was covered by a thin layer of water that acted as a perfect mirror creating perfect symmetries. The landscape was just breathtaking.



If you are lucky enough to come to Bolivia, you have to go to El Salar. It is a place that will stick to your mind for the rest of your life.  It is simply beautiful.

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Salar de Uyuni: whatever you´ve heard about it is not enough (by Lorena Tomas Laudo)
Salar de Uyuni: whatever you´ve heard about it is not enough (by Lorena Tomas Laudo)

ボリビアでの私の経験 青山 亜南   (published in Bolivia)

August 11, 2011 by   Comments(0)

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ボリビアでの私の経験 青山 亜南
ボリビアでの私の経験 青山 亜南

The Miracle of Life (by Deborah Albrecht and Katie Reichert)   (published in Bolivia)

August 3, 2011 by   Comments(0)

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Darkness descended on the small Bolivian hospital as the sun set behind snow-capped mountains, and the harsh lighting of the birthing room became even more pronounced.  It was only an hour into our first night shift, and we were about to witness a birth. 


Coming here from the United States and Germany, we only had a few short weeks to learn everything we could about developing world medicine.  We decided to take advantage of every opportunity, spending our days at different Centros de Salud while devoting our nights and weekends to 12- and 24-hour hospital shifts.  Our work at the Hospital Solomón Klein on the outskirts of Cochabamba gives us the chance to gain a better impression of the work of a practical doctor.  As we learn about the Bolivian healthcare system, we get to see the coordination required to treat different diseases and injuries in the emergency room.  The most exciting moments, however, come when a mother is about to give birth. 


We had just settled into the routine of the ER when Dr. León rushed in and beckoned us to follow him quickly.  Confused, we rushed after him into a small side room.  On one of the beds, a pregnant woman was whimpering as the doctor confirmed that it was time to move to the birthing room.  Doctors called out orders in rapid Spanish and assigned the roles of obstetrician and pediatrician to various interns.  After she was moved via wheelchair across the hall, the work began. 


In the midst of the chaos, we ran about securing surgical gowns, passing water pitchers, and helping wherever possible.  Then we waited, smiling in anticipation.  When the baby finally arrived, and the other interns rushed to attend him, we stayed beside the exhausted, peaceful mother and watched the gynecologist quietly manage the afterbirth. We felt a strange sense of belonging and realized this was exactly what we had been searching for in all our medical experiences.  It was the first time both of us had been so close to the miracle of life, and we were amazed at the perfection found in this little baby.


We will remember these moments forever.  We know that no matter where our futures took us, we would always want to return to places like this, providing peace, hope, and life to people across the globe. 


* The picture belongs to Jessica Eastwell


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The Miracle of Life (by Deborah Albrecht and Katie Reichert)
The Miracle of Life (by Deborah Albrecht and Katie Reichert)

Misiva italiana (Alberto Carniel)   (published in Bolivia)

August 3, 2011 by   Comments(0)

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Queridos amigos y amigas,

Ya estamos con las maletas listas hacia Europa, hacia nuestras casas y nuestros seres queridos, pero el regocijo se mezcla con la melancolía. Dejar un lugar donde hemos sido tan bien acogidos, donde hemos encontrado tan buenos amigos, donde en fin hemos vivido tan bien como en esta ciudad de la eterna primavera, nos provoca sentimientos de tristeza.

Querida Carmen, como Desk Officer, has sido nuestro primer contacto con Bolivia y ya lo sabes… el primer amor no se olvida nunca.

Ximena, siempre fuiste a nuestro lado una roca para ayudarnos.

Freddy, Rocío y ahora Mariel siempre hemos recibido de ustedes una sonrisa, y el máximo apoyo (y clases de baile andino).

Querida Daniela, hemos visto y apreciado tu mano en lo bueno y buenísimo que es esta familia de Projects Abroad Bolivia.

Hemos visitado bastante de las maravillas de Bolivia para pensar que este país representa un regalo del cielo para la humanidad en la tierra y cuando hablemos en nuestras casas de ustedes y de Bolivia, nuestros ojos brillarán y nuestros rostros se acordarán de puras sonrisas bolivianas.

Adiós amigos y hasta la próxima.





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Misiva italiana (Alberto Carniel)
Misiva italiana (Alberto Carniel)