Voices

Bolivia in 100 words

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.

Before you read this, let me just say that 100 words does not do this post justice. Just 100 words will barely begin to describe the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. Just 100 words isn’t enough.

But please, please take these 100 words to heart. Understand they represent a fraction of a deeper story we’re desperate to tell — a story about survival and faith, sacrifice and family, difference and commonality. I hope these 100 words paint for you a picture as vivid as the memories in our minds and as resilient as the love in our hearts.

This list was created out of the words from and expressions of the families and individuals we met, those who translated for us all week, and our own feelings. It is a combination of words that describe Bolivia — the country, the people, the experience, the food, the faces, and the moments we’ll never forget.

Love,

The Bolivia bloggers team


100. Breathtaking

99. Colorful

98. Rich (in love and family). I asked one of our translators before we left if Bolivians considered their country poor or in poverty. She said to me, “Well, that depends on what you mean by the word poverty. Bolivia is rich in culture, love, and family. By those measures, we are not poor at all.” Amen.

97. Abandonment

96. Survivors

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Turner

95. Eyes

94. Freedom

93. Culture

92. Valor

91. Warm

90. Beautiful

89. Ninos — meaning children

88. Chants

87. Giving

86. Sacrifice

85. Con gas — In Bolivia, unless you specify, your bottled water comes carbonated or con gas (meaning with gas)

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.
In Viloma ADP, this mother makes her business as the town’s seamstress. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Turner)

84. Family

83. Work

82. Light

81. Justice

80. Fascinating

79. Faith

78. Dusty

77. Forgiveness

76. Abuse

75. Music

74. Faces

73. Poverty

72. Women

71. Peace-driven

70. Difference

69. Jesus

68. Opportunity

67. Dancing

66. Happiness

65. Celebration

64. Family

63. Diversity

62. Food security

61. Proud

60. Struggle

59. Prayer

58. Blessing

57. Ben diga cuyes — meaning guinea pigs, which are raised and eaten by many in Bolivia since they are high in protein and low in fat. World Vision helps to build guinea pig houses for families. The pigs can be sold at the local market for extra income. We met one mother that raises guinea pigs, trades them at the market to get milk, salt, and butter, then makes her own cheese. And it was delicious!

56. Bricks

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Turner

55. Sponsorship

54. Mountains

53. Health

52. Resilience

51. Smile

50. Welcoming

49. Superstition

48. Hats

47. Vulnerable

46. Amore, or love

45. Gifts

44. Braids

43. Joyful

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Turner

42. Unashamed

41. Sorojchi — meaning headaches. It’s easy for visitors to get headaches since the altitude in Bolivia is very high.

40. yama — meaning llama, one of the many animals raised in Bolivia.

39. Inspiring

38. Chicharron — The Bolivian equivalent of pulled pork.

37. Kindness

36. Mothers

35. Buses

34. Community

33. Fanta — Ask Matthew Paul Turner about this one. He loves the Bolivian Fanta drinks.

32. Roosters

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.
A little girl stands wrapped in a blanket outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Turner)

31. Friendship

30. Shy

29. Arminda

28. Winding roads

27. Laughter

26. Gracias

25. Quiet

24. Effort

23. Evolving

22. Potatoes — As we visited World Vision ADP’s, the women in the communities almost always served us the yummiest red potatoes. Their secret? They grow and cook them themselves.

21. Instability

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.
At a World Vision special needs center in Colomi ADP, a child receives braces for the first time to help her walk. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Turner)

20. Gratitude

19. Dry

18. Help

17. Coffee

16. Corruption

15. Dams

14. Language

13. Chauvinism

12. Change

11. Heavenly

10. Conservative

9. War (the Mommy-war, that is)

I can barely begin to describe in 100 words the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. But still, I hope this small thing will give you an idea.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Turner

8. Humble

7. Our treasure — This was a statement I heard over and over again from the families I met. I would ask them “what does Bolivia mean to you.” Each one of them replied with this same statement, “Bolivia is our treasure.”

6. History

5. Youth

4. Modest

3. Unforgettable

2. Hard-working

1. Viva Bolivia! — The favorite Bolivian statement of all, meaning long live Bolivia!

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