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Presenting our Tentative Itinerary!

 

Hola Dragones!
 
The moment you’ve all been waiting for! Presenting you with the summer 2019 Bolivia itinerary! 
 
Ana, Jac, and I have been pretty excited creating this itinerary, planning lessons, scheduling guest speakers, and contacting old friends. We look forward to showing you around theses special places that are very near and dear to us. You will be visiting areas where Jac and Dave have lived, worked, and guided groups and where of course, Ana is from, has raised a family, and has shared her community with Dragons students for several years. We all can’t wait for you to experience the magic of Bolivia!
Keep in mind that all Dragons courses are dynamic and can shift according to changing circumstances on the ground and in our group. While some details may change, we are excited to present you with this tentative plan:

Bolivia 4 Narrative Itinerary – Summer 2019

July 28th -29th: Travel to Bolivia and Orientation

We will meet each other for the first time in the Miami airport before checking into our flight and going through security together. As a group we will be doing mini activities to get to know one another and making sure we are all prepared for our travels. We will be taking the overnight flight from Miami to Santa Cruz, arriving in the morning in the subtropical lowland city. We will only be changing planes in Santa Cruz and we will take a short flight to Sucre. From Sucre we will take a short bus ride out of town to our orientation site where we will settle in and focus on the journey ahead.

June 29th-July 1st: Orientation and Sucre

Orientation is a time for us to settle in, rest up from our long travels, learn more about one another, and focus on our itinerary and how we we embody responsible travel. After our orientation we’ll move to Bolivia’s original capital city, Sucre. Sucre is a very picturesque colonial city and UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It’s also a cultural hub for both lowland and highland peoples. We’ll explore the city, museums and other cultural centers as we prepare for our first trek in the surrounding mountains

July 2nd-5th: Cordillera Los Frailes Trek

From Sucre we’ll head out to the Cordillera de Los Frailes for our first trek where we’ll spend three days and two nights hiking and camping. We’ll walk through stunning landscapes, waterfalls and one of the largest collections of dinosaur footprints in the world to reach the crater of Maragua. We will have spent the last four days getting to know each other and coming together as a team, all while honing our trekking and backcountry skills. On this final day of our time in the Frailes we will debrief our trek and also begin to start prepping for the next phase of our journey: homestays in Tiquipaya.

July 6th-15th: Tiquipaya Homestay

The following day we will travel to Cochabamba, a Quechua region of Bolivia and a historically important site for political activism. We will begin our 10-day homestay with families in Tiquipaya, a semi-rural community located not far outside of Cochabamba proper. Students will connect with their local homestay families while participating in intensive Spanish language classes. In the afternoons, students will work on their Independent Study Projects, with potential topics including weaving, Andean music and dance, socio-political issues, traditional agriculture, and Bolivian cooking. We also meet with guest speakers and learn about the vibrant history of social mobilization in the region.

July 16th-21st: La Paz and El Alto Homestay, Teatro Trono 

We arrive in El Alto, a city of incredible importance in the modern history of Bolivia. El Alto is a city resting on the mesa above the city of La Paz, at 4,100 meters above sea level. EL Alto is surrounded by snow covered peaks and filled with cultural diversity. The majority of the population is indigenous Aymara, and the region is known for being a site of resistance and indigenous uprising.

Our main point of contact and connection with the community will be with Teatro Trono/COMPA (Comunidad de Productores en Arte). For 30 years, Teatro Trono has been a cultural space in which young people are able to connect with artistic expression, a space where dreams are made reality by sharing ideas and proposing societal changes through the arts. During this time we will also form connections with our Alteño homestay families.

July 22nd-25th: Condoriri Trek

We will now have the opportunity to get close to the spirits of the snow covered peaks or, “Los Apus”, that have watched over us while in El Alto. We will make our way deeper into the mountains and trek past glaciated peaks, crystalline lakes, and expansive valleys all the while learning about the geography of the area and its importance in sustaining the vibrant Amazon Rainforest miles below. Students will be able to call on their backcountry skills and take on more leadership opportunities to learn how to manage a group expedition.

July 25th-27th: Transference

We’ll wrap up our trek and begin to wind down and reflect on the experience as a whole. We close out our time together in a beautiful eco-lodge in Coroico, in the magical Yungas cloud forest region. Here we reflect on our journey, celebrate our time together, and prepare for the transition home.

July 28th-29th: Return Home

Just as we arrived, we will begin our journey home. We will have one last chance to explore the city of La Paz and purchase souvenirs before taking a short flight to Santa Cruz. From there we will switch planes for the flight back to Miami. We will be accompanied by an instructor who will help us through security and we will say our final goodbyes before finding our domestic connections home.

Photos:

Dave’s homestay in Cochabamba

Trek in Los Frailes

Trek in the high Bolivian Andes