As my Bolivia trip is quickly coming to an end, I have a few thoughts on my mind. At first, I originally came to Bolivia to gain more education and knowledge about indigenous groups and their politics. Not only did I learn so much about the indigenous groups, but I have also discovered more of my identity. I am a mixed child, half Filipino, 1/4 Japanese, 1/4 Native American. Not only do I have an odd mixture of ethnicities, but I am also very Americanized. Growing up, my parents taught me to take pride in my ethnicities and the color of my skin but, I would always think that I needed to choose a side to identify more with. Throughout Bolivia, I often got asked my ethnicity. I remember telling a girl that my automatic reaction would be to say Filipino, because it´s an easy response due to the color of my skin. She was shocked that I had such different ethnicities inside of me and didn´t understand why I thought I needed to identify with only one part of myself. When she told me that, It instantly changed the way I thought about it. Apart of embracing my ethnicities is identifying with all 3 of them. I am lucky enough to grow up in a loving household with many different cultures, why should I only chose 1 side to represent everyday when I have a huge chunk of the world in me?
Bolivia has been a whole month filled with education and self reflection for me. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity.
Send us all energy for the big travel ahead! See you soon.