Dear Students and Families,
We’re so excited to share with you our tentative itinerary for our upcoming journey in Bolivia this summer. The three of us have worked together to craft an experience that will offer the group a diverse set of experiences. We believe that this itinerary has something for everyone and also promises to be a lot of fun and learning! Please have a look below at the breakdown and if you have any questions be sure to reach out to us on the Yak Board.
July 2nd to 5th: Arrival and Orientation – the group will arrive to El Alto International Airport in La Paz on the morning of July 2nd and take the next flight out to the lower elevation city of Cochabamba. Upon arrival in ‘Cocha’ we will head to the outskirts of the city and begin our orientation process. Here we will form as a group, get to know one another and give students all the information and skills they need to have a safe and meaningful experience.
July 6th to 9th: First Trek – From our orientation we will travel roughly 2 hours to begin our trek in the stunning Torotoro National Park. Torotoro is a unique landscape full of caves, rivers, fossilized dinosaur footprints and breathtaking views. We will spend our days here backpacking and practicing our backcountry skills among the hills. We will be led by local community members who have formed a community tourism project to share the majesty of their home with visitors.
July 10th to 16th: Homestay/Community Stay – From Torotoro we will return toward the city of Cochabamba to the town of Tiquipaya. This small town on the edge of the city is Dragons’ home base in Bolivia. Here we will be based out of the Organic Farm ‘Granja Polen’. Students will most likely partake in homestays with local families, as long as covid conditions allow for that (we are waiting to ensure that elderly/vulnerable members of the community are vaccinated before entering into their homes). In Tiquipaya students will participate in daily Spanish classes on the farm with local teachers, in addition to learning about current political and environmental issues in Bolivia through guest speakers. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about music, religion and weaving through workshops and hands-on activities with local artists and experts.
July 17th to 22nd: Arts and Theater in La Paz/El Alto – After Finishing our homestays in Tiquipaya we will head up in elevation to the city of La Paz. El Alto is the city above La Paz where we will spend time working with the grassroots theatre and arts organization called Teatro Trono. Here we will engage with local youth who are members of the vibrant arts community who will share their experiences and creations with us. We will participate in the daily life of the theatre and their activities as we learn about their social justice initiatives and the issues members hope to address in their community.
July 23rd to 25th: Service Learning in the Yungas – With some of our new friends from Teatro Trono we will travel to the Yungas, the tropical region of La Paz, to the community of Mururata. Here we will camp with our hosts and help with the construction of the arts community they are currently building in this beautiful region.
Finally we will head to an eco-lodge in the Yungas to spend that last couple of days together as a group. During this time we will strategize about how to actively apply what we’ve learned to our lives at home and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. On the 28th the group will return to the El Alto International Airport to depart for home.
Thanks for taking the time to read this itinerary closely. We look forward to answering any questions you might have. As always, stay tuned to the Yak Board for more important announcements.
Alan, Ana and Luis