It was around 10pm when my homestay sister and I started talking. We sat across from each other at the kitchen table eating the vanilla cake she made. I started to ask her about the indigenous groups in Bolivia, since my homestay mom speaks a dialect called Ayamara. She explained that there are 3 main indigenous groups; Ayamara, Quechua, and Guarani. She also taught me some similarities between the 3 groups and languages. I started telling her about my family history, because my grandma is from an indigenous tribe native to California, and all of the politics surrounding indigenous rights in America. Throughout the conversation, I started to think about how similar the indigenous groups are oppressed in Bolivia and in America. Indigenous groups in Bolivia were marginalized and have a lack of representation, similar to groups in America. My homestay sister was shocked at the similarities also. Of course, there are over 100 indigenous groups in the US and 37 in Bolivia, but history is everywhere and is repeating. History affected the past, it affects our present, and will most likely affect our future.
Understanding everyones history is very important to me and so is fighting for indigenous rights. I am so lucky that I got to have such an intellectual conversation with my homestay sister, even if half of it was playing charades.
Missing you all back home!