I began blogging in
The trip was worth waiting all my life for. I learned lessons I still draw from. The people of
The back roads we traveled are blockaded. The market we shopped is on fire. The people we lived with go without. The Peace Corp is permanently withdrawn (a typical
A friend in southern Bolivia sent this report from Tarija last week. I like first-hand reports:
Yesterday was rough here in Tarija with a painful confrontation at the campesino market that lasted 11 hours. My friend’s sister, a market vendor, is unable to get to her stand; her perishables are ruined … Food prices have sky rocketed since the rise in oil prices. Every social class is in crisis, especially the poor who feel most keenly the disruptions and violence.
Since ENTEL has been taken over, there is no telephone system. I waited two hours in the bank line yesterday to cash a check only to discover that without a communication system, they could not accept it. Fortunately I don't need the funds immediately.
Lacking diesel, gasoline and propane gas, there is little transportation. Last night…we found the church locked with a tire burning on the street in front. Just as we turned to head back to the house, the police dispelled tear gas. I grabbed my friend´s 3 year old grandniece in my arms and ran to escape. Meanwhile, her niece ran for shelter with a one month old baby in her arms. Fortunately a taxi rescued us.
Stores and businesses are open only a few hours a day. We are so keenly aware of our need for God's help to restore peace to our beloved
The best source for breaking news in Bolivia is The Democracy Center. Yesterday's update is here.
Bolivia, I'm sorry my government is helping provoke this debacle. I promise I'll be watching. I will advocate for you up here, in the heart of the Empire.
photo #1 caption: The church at La Mamora, a tiny village in Southern Bolivia which once housed a Peace Corp volunteer. Bolivia now has no Peace Corps volunteers.
photos #2 & #3 source: The Democracy Center