Bolivia 2019

Table of Contents

Bolivia Bound: A Thrilling Family Adventure in South America

“Bolivia is a majority indigenous nation, but that majority has always been excluded.” – Evo Morales

If you ask Danna, she will say that she wanted to visit Machu Picchu in Peru, but David wanted to go to Bolivia because it was the only country in South America named for Simon Bolivar, who was the “champion of the people.” It sounds good and funny, but the truth is that Salar de Uyuni is the second must-see spot in South America, and Bolivia intersected with Tomer’s vagabond trip itinerary during Rae’s school break.

There was also a captivating story that drew me to Bolivia. It was about Yossi Ginsberg, an Israeli adventurer who survived for three weeks alone in the Bolivian Amazon jungle after getting separated from his group in 1981. I was intrigued by the spirit of resilience in that story and wanted to connect with it.

So, Bolivia, we went, and it was a blast!

It was a joy in big part because it was the first time the four of us traveled together for an extended period. It was a beautiful way for our newly formed family (minus Quinn) to come together, to share intimacy and the joy of freedom that only travel can bring. It was the first time that Rae traveled in our kind of travel style, which is comfortable though challenging at times, and she showed her grit. 

A few years ago, on Father’s Day, I posted a reflection: “…Yet a lot of times, I let (Tomer) lead me, and I don’t know where the journey’s gonna go. Because we can go down a path that I’ve been down a thousand times before, but for him, it’s the first time…”  In Bolivia, I observed Tomer taking the lead many times, he was our Spanish communicator, and as such, he often set the tone. It was with great pride and joy that I could back up and just let things unfold.

Travel Route: La Paz

Colonel Wilhelm Taboada and Beyond: Connecting with Bolivia’s People and Politics

On our first walk in La Paz, we encountered police officers in full heavy gear blocking protesters from entering the square in front of the Congress-House building. We started a conversation with a policeman standing a bit back and to the side. It turned out he was the man in charge. Colonel Wilhelm Taboada spoke good English, which is not common in Bolivia; he told us about the demonstration, the country, himself, and his family origins. Apparently, his grandfather immigrated from Germany, which immediately made me see blinking lights. He might have been one of those Nazis who found refuge in Bolivia after the war, just like Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, see The Butcher of Bolivia.

This was our introduction to the fascinating country of Bolivia. It was also a blessing to directly connect with the Colonel, who knows what might happen during a month traversing the country. He kindly offered any support necessary during our journey. It’s always good to have that kind of connection.

Bolivians are known to voice their discontent whenever they feel they have been wronged or an injustice has been committed. There have been countless revolutions in Bolivia, governments have fallen, and laws have been enacted due to people’s indignation.

It seems chaotic, but there is a precise order behind it: syndicates and unions. In Bolivia, it’s normal for any group to form a syndicate, whether it is a neighborhood or street vendor. Everyone is part of a union that efficiently mobilizes its members.

Even the current president, Evo Morales, was the head of the coca farmers union. He was the first indigenous president in South America. He was well admired for his nationalizing industries’ initial policies and other socialistic reforms that resembled those of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

Initially, people were happy, and the country prospered; now, people say he has been tainted by corruption. Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and is faced with complex problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production.

Mi Teleferico: The Futuristic Cable Car System That Revolutionized La Paz’s Transit

By many standards, La Paz is not modern, but its aerial cable car urban transit system feels futuristic. Each of the eight lines has a bright, distinct color and stretches above the city and its suburbs in a total length of 21 miles (34 km). The cost per ride is $0.33, and in many experts’ opinions, it is considered one of the best public transport systems in the world. Gliding through the sky with Mi Teleferico, at a steady 11mph allows plenty of time to survey the city’s neighborhoods and the mountains’ lunar rock formations surrounding it. The cable car system was designed to run on electricity, part of which is provided through solar power.

Crazy Dave Boliviano: A Journey into Bolivia’s Notorious San Pedro Prison

The book “Marching Powder” by Rusty Young tells the story of Thomas McFadden, an English drug trafficker who spent eight years in Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro Prison. “Marching Powder” is a cult classic, especially among travelers to South America, and is one of the strangest and most captivating prison stories of all time.

Thus, we had to see the prison from a closeup, and that’s how we met Crazy Dave Boliviano.” Originally from Queens, NY, Dave tried to smuggle cocaine out of Bolivia and went to prison for 16 years. We spent an hour with Dave in the park in front of the prison. He’s a very entertaining storyteller and musician.

Now out of jail and living on the streets of La Paz, working on his documentary on prison life and speaking about his experiences at San Pedro Prison and the people from the book “Marching Powder.”

In Bolivia, prisoners must pay for food and buy their own jail cells. The alternative is to sleep outside and die of exposure. Prisoners’ wives and children often live inside the prison too. Prisoners must find ways to make income; one way is making and selling high-quality cocaine manufactured inside the prison. Thomas McFadden made a living by giving backpackers tours of the prison – he became a fixture on the backpacking circuit and was mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide to Bolivia. Nowadays, this is all history, Thomas runs a chicken farm in South Africa, and the prison warden is serving time for corruption. Bolivia is quite a complex country.

The Thrilling Adventure of Cycling Bolivia’s Death Road

North Yungas Road is known as Death Road” for all the reasons you’d guess. The road connects Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, located up in the Andes mountains, to the town of Coroico, down in the Amazon forest.

The road is 43 miles (69 km) long and marks where the Andes drop down into the Amazon. It is situated amidst a lush raincloud forest rich in vegetation. However, its treacherous switchbacks pose significant risks due to factors such as fog, landslides, cascades, and sheer cliffs that plunge 2,000 feet (610 meters) with each turn.

With a width rarely exceeding 10 feet (3 meters), the road served as the sole means of transportation until 2009. Consequently, it was not uncommon for merchants to cram into trucks and buses to transport their wood and crops to town. Unfortunately, the narrow hairpin turns proved too challenging for every vehicle, leading to numerous accidents where trucks, livelihoods, and lives were lost.

Given its dangerous nature, it comes as no surprise that the road earned the moniker of the World’s Most Dangerous Road.

Today the route is used chiefly by bicycle excursions organized by outfitters in La Paz, who provide everything from the bikes, gear, food, and escort. All went well without hiccups, but Danna bailed out at the last moment. She joined the van that escorted us and had a great time watching us from afar. The real challenge was on the drive back to La Paz. I think our driver had a few beers too many, compounded with the low visibility due to the heavy fog, he lost control, and the car slid backward and bumped the car behind us. That was Danna and Rae’s farewell day in Bolivia.

Travel Route: Uyuni – Train Cemetery – San Cristobal – Anaconda Canyon – Laguna Catal – Dragon and Camel Rock – Quetena Chico

The Ultimate Uyuni Tour: A Four-Day Tour of Bolivia’s Natural Wonders

If not arranged ahead of time, the selection process for a 4-night tour can be stressful. Walking from agency to agency in Uyuni, comparing offers, and determining the best route and accommodation styles take significant time and patience.

Our number one criterion was the car’s model year, followed by the driver, the itinerary, and all the rest. Entering this kind of relationship is fraught with mistrust, especially after reading stories of other travelers’ experience with “bait and switch,” agencies promising one car or driver then changing at the last minute.

Vladimir Berna, the owner of Uyuni White and Green’s tour company, had the newest model car. He was kind and polite and delivered an experience above and beyond our expectations – the vehicle – food – accommodations were great. Besides, his five years of touring experience and career as a Park Ranger enriched our cultural knowledge, and his expert driving across the rugged terrain kept us safe and hungry for the next adventure.

Our tour was four days long and happily ended in Salar de Uyuni, a glorious, spectacular, and relaxing day, which, by its end, we were all covered in salt.

A Journey through Time: Exploring Uyuni’s Antique Train Graveyard

An antique train cemetery is located 3 km outside Uyuni. In the past, it served as a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals en route to Pacific Ocean ports. British engineers built the rail lines in the 1880s. They were abandoned in the 1940s when the mining industry collapsed. 

Quinoa: From Local Staple to Global Superfood

My first ever sighting of quinoa fields – the color variety of red, burgundy, purple, and orange on the grounds is a beautiful sight. For generations, indigenous Bolivian farmers have grown and lived on quinoa. Then in the early 2000s, various Western nations caught onto quinoa’s high nutritional value. Global demand soon rose, and quinoa crop prices spiked. Some Bolivian farmers who’d once struggled to make ends meet are getting substantial revenues from quinoa cultivation.

Anaconda Canyon

The canyon got its name from the river’s meandering shape.

Laguna Catal

Laguna Catal is a visually stunning lake surrounded by lava boulders. This is where Rae discovered her spiritual animal – the Llama. 

A Feel-Good Vibe: The Magic of “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

“September” is a classic funk and disco song by the American band Earth, Wind & Fire, released in 1978. It is known for its catchy melody, upbeat rhythm, feel-good vibe, and energetic horn section. The song’s lyrics reflect the excitement and joy of falling in love in September, a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.

The song was our trip dance tune. It was perfect!


The Llama is an animal that lives in the Andes mountains in South America, a pack animal that provides wooly fleece, meat, and milk. Llamas are domesticated mammals, a member of the camel family. The scenery of Llamas grazing in peace was stunning.

Travel Route: Laguna Hedionda – Laguna Collpa – Polques Aguas Termales – Desierto de Daly – Laguna Verde – Geiser Sol De Manana – Laguna Colorada

The Zen Rhythm of Road Trips: Finding the Beauty in the Journey

Road trips get me into a Zen rhythm; the sense of time goes out the window. The essence of a road trip is to move, not necessarily to arrive at a specific destination but just to drive. The philosopher Martin Buber said: “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” As I have often heard, beautiful paths cannot be discovered without getting lost first.

The traveling experience does not end with the return home but is played out repeatedly in the mind. Travel is more than just seeing sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent in my living ideas. It’s an education like no other, maybe the best. I learn the history and stories in each location and town, feel the ground, and capture the spirit. Then, it becomes part of my own story that I carry inside and goes with me always. What are we, humans, but storytellers?

Desierto de Daly

Salvador Dalí Desert is a barren valley characterized by landscapes resembling Salvador Dali’s surrealist paintings.

Geiser Sol de Mañana

Sol de Mañana is a geothermal area boasting a stunning landscape filled with geysers, bubbling mud pots, and a distinct sulfur smell.

Laguna Colorada: A Natural Wonder of Crimson Waters and Pink Flamingo

A rare natural wonder near Chile’s border, a blood-red lagoon filled with hundreds of pink flamingos. It’s known as Laguna Colorada (Reddish in Spanish). Folklore suggests the water is the gods’ blood, though scientists seem to believe the color comes from the algae and rich minerals in the water. The spectacular setting of the deep crimson lake, hundreds of flamingos, the stark contrast of the clear blue sky, and the mountains attract photographers from all over the world. I must admit that Laguna Colorada is one of the few places that made me feel like I needed a heavy-duty camera with a closeup lens to capture the sharp details better.

Flamingos are drawn to the lake thanks to its abundant plankton supply, the tiny and microscopic organisms drifting or floating in the water. Some animals are adapted to feed on plankton, especially by filtering the water. The flamingos are naturally white but look pink because the red algae stain their feathers.

Travel Route: Tree of Stone – Desierto de Siloli – Laguna Honda – Laguna Canapa – Salar de Chihuana – San Juan

The awe-inspiring high desert landscape of southwest Bolivia

As we traversed through the southwestern corner of Bolivia, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the vast and breathtaking landscape that lay before me. At an altitude of 4000-5000 m (13,000-16,500 ft), the high desert offered an uninterrupted horizon line, leaving me in awe of its raw and rugged beauty.

The diversity of the terrain was incredible. From the blinding white salt flats of Salar de Uyuni to the colorful lakes that varied in shades of blue, green, white, and red, depending on the mineral content, every vista was a sight to behold. The ground seemed to come alive, as the minerals interacted to create a spectacular display of vibrant colors.

Despite the remoteness of the area and the scarcity of human settlements, we were not alone. Herds of llamas and alpacas accompanied us, gracefully traversing the landscape. The presence of migratory pink and white flamingos added a touch of elegance and tranquility to the scene.

After four days of navigating dusty dirt roads, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of humility in the face of such expansive and awe-inspiring surroundings. The vastness of the landscape made me realize how small we are in comparison, and I couldn’t help but be captivated by the sheer beauty that surrounded us.

San Juan: From Salt Blocks to Sleeping Quarters: Inside Our Hotel

The hotel we stayed at was a unique and impressive structure made entirely of salt blocks, including the floors, walls, ceiling, furniture, and sculptures. As the only building for miles around, it stands out as a testament to the region’s natural resources and the ingenuity of those who built it. While some of the bathroom walls were made of stone, the salt walls in the walk-in showers were covered with plastic sheets, indicating room for improvement in the building’s maintenance and amenities.

Travel Route: San Juan – Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni: A Natural Wonder of Reflection and Illusion

There are many beautiful breathtaking places around the world. I have seen a few, and Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is at the top of the list. The size of Lebanon or two times Delaware, Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat globally, with an area of 10,500 square kilometers (4,080 sq mi). We visited just at the end of the rainy season when a significant portion of the Salar was still covered with a thin layer of water, transforming the flats into a stunning reflection of the sky. It’s an incredible phenomenon, especially at sunset, which reminded me of the Rorschach psychological test. Natural beauty with psychological interpretations – quite a combo.

Bolivia’s Lithium Dilemma: Nationalism vs. Globalization

“Lithium is like a beautiful lady, very much sought and pursued, especially in Bolivia. There is data indicating Bolivia has the largest reserves of lithium in the world.” – Evo Morales

A few natural resources are underneath the surface of Salar de Uyuni. The largest is Lithium, the raw material for the current and future energy source, otherwise known as White Gold. With the increased usage of lithium batteries in mobile phones and electric vehicles, one wonders if Bolivia is on its way to becoming the next global energy supplier, like one of the wealthy Gulf states.

The short answer is: “So far, it’s not.” 

Nine years since Bolivia started its own company to produce lithium, it is still the poorest country in South America.


Poor economic policies!

The government of President Evo Morales did not allow foreign companies to operate in Bolivia and extract lithium until very recently. The Bolivian government wants to tap into the profits of not only lithium extraction but also the production of batteries. The explanation is in the numbers: a metric ton of lithium is valued at $9,000 (in 2018 prices), but once it turns into batteries, it jumps to $4 million. Unfortunately for Bolivia, it takes world-class engineering, patented technology, and tools it does not currently possess.

One way to make sense of Bolivia’s policies is to view them from a historical perspective: foreign colonial powers and international companies plundered Bolivia’s natural resources. The fear that its rich resource will, once again, be taken without bringing any of its fortunes back into Bolivia’s economy is a clear and present trauma.

Travel Route: Rurrenabaque – Chalalan Ecolodge

The Magic of Chalalan Ecolodge: Immersing in Nature and Indigenous Culture

Deep within the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest, a five-hour canoe ride away from Rurrenabaque, following the Beni River and then the Tuichi River, lies the enchanting Chalalan Ecolodge. Tucked away in the Madidi National Park, along the shores of the Chalalan Lagoon, this sustainable lodge is a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of the San Jose Village community.

Chalalan Ecolodge stands as a shining example of indigenous ecotourism, showcasing a harmonious coexistence between nature and culture. Powered by the sun, the lodge offers a comfortable and inviting experience for visitors. From delectable first-class cuisine to fascinating guided hikes and jungle activities, there is no shortage of adventures to embark upon.

What makes Chalalan Ecolodge truly remarkable is its success in preserving the San Jose community’s way of life. In the face of economic challenges that threaten their traditions, the people of San Jose have not only thrived but also managed to flourish. The lodge serves as a testament to their determination to maintain their cultural heritage and protect the surrounding natural wonders.

Visiting Chalalan Ecolodge offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest while supporting a sustainable and community-led initiative. It is a place where nature, culture, and responsible tourism come together, creating an unforgettable experience for all who venture into its lush embrace.

“Back to the Tuichi” Yossi Ghinsberg’s Journey to Chalalan Ecolodge

Yossi Ghinsberg’s book, “Back to the Tuichi,” recounts his gripping tale of survival and rescue in the untamed wilderness of the Bolivian Amazon Jungle in 1981. Having read the book years ago, it left an indelible mark on me, evoking a mix of fascination and fear. It ignited a desire for exploration, urging me to delve into uncharted territories both within myself and in the world. However, it also instilled a profound sense of dread and apprehension, contemplating the perils of being lost in the vast and unpredictable jungle.

The jungle, both metaphorically within myself and literally in the outside world, became a symbol of untamed and unknown realms. Yossi’s extraordinary journey served as a reminder of the boundaries we push and the transformative power of facing our deepest fears.

Eleven years after his life-altering experience, Yossi returned to the Tuichi River, driven by a vision to turn his encounter with the jungle into something meaningful. His involvement in the realization of Chalalan Ecolodge exemplifies the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity to create positive change even in the face of adversity.

Yossi’s story, from the depths of his personal journey to his contribution to the establishment of the ecolodge, continues to inspire and remind us of the profound connection between our inner landscapes and the world around us. It serves as a testament to the human spirit’s ability to transform hardships into opportunities and find purpose in the most unlikely of places.

Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness: A Tale of Inner Exploration

As our canoe silently made its way up the winding Beni and Tuichi rivers, my thoughts were drawn to the haunting tale of Kurtz depicted in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” Conrad’s narrative follows Marlowe as he embarks on a quest to find Kurtz, an ivory trader who succumbs to the allure of power and becomes a leader of a cannibal tribe in the depths of the Congo River. The story has often been interpreted as an allegory for the West’s exploitation and brutality disguised as progress and civilization.

However, I perceive both the novel and its cinematic adaptation, “Apocalypse Now” by Francis Ford Coppola, as more than a mere critique of colonialism. They serve as introspective journeys into the human psyche, delving into the darkness that resides within each of us. Kurtz’s final words, the enigmatic phrase “The horror! The horror!” encapsulate the essence of his existence and the unsettling depths of human nature.

In many ways, the story echoes the themes found in Dante’s Inferno, as Marlowe’s expedition into the heart of the impenetrable jungle mirrors Virgil’s descent into the depths of the underworld. It is a descent into the realm of human darkness, where the boundaries of morality and sanity blur, and the fragility of civilization becomes apparent.

Conrad’s work, intertwined with the powerful imagery of Coppola’s film, invites us to confront the hidden aspects of our own nature, to confront our own capacity for darkness and the potential for corruption. It serves as a sobering reminder that true exploration lies not in external landscapes but within the intricate labyrinth of our own souls.

If given a choice between an Amazon Jungle excursion or the Southwest Circuit, I would choose the latter without hesitation. I am all too familiar with darkness and its destructive force. I prefer open spaces where the presence of powers greater than myself can be felt.

Rurrenabaque: A Gateway to Bolivia’s Amazon Rainforest

Situated amid lush rainforest jungle, the airport feels like a small taxi station in the middle of nowhere –  the terminal building is a 10-minute drive, through the jungle, from the landing strip. The flight from La Paz passed through a range of mountains that were so close I thought, what a better sign for our adventure ahead.

Rurrenabaque is a small town on the Beni River banks, a gateway to the Bolivian Amazon trip. After the high elevations of our journey so far, we had to adjust to the heat, humidity, and lower altitude. Our stay at Hotel Takana before and after the jungle excursion was perfect!

Travel Route: Copacabana – Isla del Sol

Copacabana: A Tranquil Town on the Shores of Lake Titicaca

Copacabana is a small town on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. It is a popular tourist destination known for its religious festivals, beautiful beaches, stunning lake views, and surrounding mountains. Copacabana is the gateway to Isla del Sol.

Island of the Sun: Discovering the Mythical Birthplace of the Sun on Lake Titicaca

“In Bolivia, there are Catholic, Evangelical, Methodist, Baptist churches, and so on. In Bolivia, there are indigenous religious beliefs like the rite of Pachamama Mother Earth, which shows us that Mother Earth is our life, we are born out of the Earth, we live on the Earth and return to the Earth.” – Evo Morales

Isla del Sol, also called the Island of the Sun, lies in the center of Lake Titicaca, accessible by boat from Copacabana in just a few hours. By Inca mythology, the sun was born on this island. Isla del Sol is a serene and tranquil place, ideal for unhurried exploration. As a sacred site with a rich history of the Incan empire, the island features numerous ancient ruins, such as the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon, which served as venues for religious ceremonies. The island boasts incredible natural beauty, with hiking trails and breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and mountains.

Travel Route: Potosi – Sucre

Potosi, Eduardo Galeano and “Open Veins of Latin America”

“The city that has given the most to the world and the one that has the least.” 

In his book “Open Veins of Latin America,” Eduardo Galeano, a renowned Uruguayan author, meticulously unveils the profound impact of five centuries of exploitation on the Latin American continent. Through an economic and historical lens, Galeano narrates the relentless pillaging that transpired after the arrival of Columbus, initially by colonial powers and later by powerful multinational corporations.

The imagery of veins penetrating deep into the earth serves as a vivid metaphor, particularly exemplified by the iconic Cerro Rico, or “Rich Mountain,” in Potosi. This mountain symbolizes the immense wealth extracted through mining, primarily of silver, which propelled Spain to become the wealthiest nation on earth. However, this prosperity came at an immense human cost, marking one of the most egregious atrocities in history.

During the peak of production in the Silver Mountain mines, spanning the mid-16th to the mid-18th century, it is estimated that over eight million indigenous inhabitants, predominantly from the Indian population, lost their lives. The toll exacted by this ruthless pursuit of riches left a devastating legacy of suffering and loss.

Galeano’s book exposes the deep wounds inflicted upon Latin America throughout its history, laying bare the systemic exploitation and plunder that shaped the region. It serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring consequences of colonialism and serves to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges faced by Latin American nations striving for justice and equity.

We toured the Silver Mountain’s mines; it was a 2-3 hours slow walk, sometimes bending, sometimes crawling, in mostly dark, chilly, and wet conditions. It is a fascinating and depressing experience to see miners at work today and imagine the past’s inhumane work conditions.   

Later, when we visited the National Mint Museum, we learned that the high death toll was due to the toxic dust and fumes inhaled while processing the raw material into pure silver in addition to the dangerous mining itself. Further reading: How silver turned Potosí into “The mountain that eats men alive.”

Potosi is the highest city in the world, 13,419f (4,090m) above sea level. The city streets are narrow and gloomy, but the colonial-era buildings and richly decorative churches carry glimpses into its past glory days. Eduardo Galeano wrote:

“Today, Potosí is a poor city in poor Bolivia…  This city condemned to nostalgia, tormented by misery and cold, is still an open wound of the colonial system in America: an accusation. The world would have to start by apologizing.”  For a few weeks before our trip, I immersed myself in his poetic writings, some of which are well-known and poignant: 

“The Church says: the body is a sin. Science says: the body is a machine. Advertising says: The body is a business. The Body says: I am a fiesta.” From Walking Words

“In 1492, the natives discovered they were Indians, discovered they lived in America, discovered they were naked, discovered that the Sin existed, discovered they owed allegiance to a King and Kingdom from another world and a God from another sky, and that this God had invented the guilty and the dress, and had sent to be burnt alive who worships the Sun the Moon the Earth and the Rain that wets it.” From Children of the Days

The historical facts cannot be disputed; wrong was done. Still, the repeated sentiment of being victimized without introspection stirred my criticism towards Galeano’s choice to describe 500 years of history from one perspective.

I believe that blaming others for Latin America’s economic failures (poverty, homelessness, persistent unemployment) is dangerous. It makes it sound like it’s all beyond reach, where the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

Yes, the Colonial powers exploited and looted the natural resources of Latin America. Still, even after they were kicked out, Latin America could not bring itself to become a confederate of states like its Northern neighbor, which was the grand vision of Simon Bolivar, the liberator.

Furthermore, I suspect that something in Latin America’s culture and values failed to develop the acceptance and dignity awarded to entrepreneurial spirit and private property and failed to diminish centralized state control and church influence.

Holy Week

We happened to visit Potosi on Holy Week celebration, a week-long celebration of the Easter holiday. Thus, we had the chance to observe a couple of evening concerts held at the central Plaza and a unique street parade that ended with a mass at the main cathedral. It felt like a blessing, being in the midst of a spiritual celebration because, in my mind, God is one regardless of religion.

Fruit Juice in Sucre’s Market

The Bolivian cuisine is not my kind, but one section of Sucre’s central market felt like a little heaven. A row of ladies makes the most amazing freshly pressed juices and fruit salads for just 6 bolivianos ($1).

My reading recommendations

Bolivar: American Liberator, By Marie Arana

Marching Powder, By Rusty Young

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, By Eduardo Galeano

Back to the Tuichi, By Yossi Ghinsberg