Hello friends and families,
In just a week we will be heading into our much anticipated winter excursion. The excursion comes after a busy holiday season, and will serve as a time for us to come back together as a group. We will use this re-encounter to reflect and process on half of our time together being gone. We will make concrete goals for the second half of our course, students will practice their travel skills, and we will see some of the most historical and culturally important places in Bolivia.
Here is our itinerary for the first two weeks of January. As we will be on the move, we won’t have as much opportunity to communicate with folks back home.
January 2: Travel day
Travel by bus from Cochabamba to Oruro, take train from Oruro to Uyuni, arriving in the evening to the town of Uyuni
January 3-5: Salar de Uyuni
We will spend three days touring the largest salt desert in the world, along with the spectacular National Park called Eduardo Avaroa. Located at an altitude between 4,200m and 5,400m, this National Park is home to an incredible amount of biodiversity, including three of the five species in the world of flamingos, vicuñas, vizcachas, ñandús, condors, and pumas (the last two of which we would be extremely lucky to see). This area is also home to active volcanoes, geysers, canyons, natural arches, and lakes of different colors.
January 6: Travel day
Travel from Uyuni to Potosi
January 6-9: Potosi
In the city of Potosi, we will dive more into the history of Bolivia. Potosi was once the most populated city in the world, and is attributed with sustaining the Spanish empire and creating the spark that started global capitalism. Here we will explore the silver mines, architecture, and museums. We will also have the unique opportunity to work with CONNETSOP, a union of child workers in the city of Potosi.
January 9: Travel day
Travel from Potosi to Sucre
January 10-17: Sucre
We will have a few days to explore the beautiful colonial city of Sucre. Sucre is home to world-class museums, Bolivia’s declaration of independence, rich indigenous textile traditions, and a delicious regional cuisine. After exploring the city, we will head out on a four day trek through the spectacular Cordillera de los Frailes, an incredible mountain range with dinosaur footprints, cave paintings, Inca roads, and an 8km wide ancient crater.
January 17: Home sweet home!
We will return to Tiquipaya from Sucre, and students will resume their service site work and settle back in with their home stay families.
Felices fiestas, and Happy New Year to all,
Matt and Pedro