Thursday, July 31, 2008


I am between Street 2 and Kilometer 7 Avenue in El Alto. All this area is also known as Ceja and here we can find a lot of things. Small businesses of any kind, orange juice sellers, fruit sellers, bread sellers, food sellers, etc.

Among these, there is this small shop that sells Cd´s, Dvd´s. All this material is known as "pirata", because they are non authorized copies of the original, and due to that they are sold at low prices. To increase its sales, owners of this type of business, install a Tv and show films or material that may be attractive as in this case. If it is very interesting, a crowd of people use to stand from the beginning until the end of the film.

Monday, July 28, 2008


A last minute decision took me to the Titicaca Lake again last July 25th. I had waited for a long time to stay in the Sun Island and to celebrate my birthday was the reason than motivated me to go to this place.

I arrived to Copacabana at about 3 in the afternoon. I had the fortune to find a boat which took me to the Sun Island where I arrived about 2 hours later. But, I was left in other community different from the habitual place where boats arrive, so I had to take a walk up a hill for about one hour and a half.

Saturday, I decided to go the the northern part of the Island where there are some Inca ruins, called Chinkana or Laberynth built completely on stone. It takes about three hours to go there walking. One can take a boat to return more or less at 13:30 but me and a swiss girl, Nicole, whom I met on my way to Chinkana, went back walking taking other way which was Challapampa and Challa. Neither me nor her, took into account the time, and we stayed on a white sand beach in Challapampa and then we decided to visit a very interesting local Museum which includes pieces of Tihuanacu culture found on the depths of Titicaca Lake.

We started walking again, but night came soon and we had to walk in the middle of the mountains accompanied by the wind, the shining stars and a small lantern.

Picture1. It is the northern part of the Island and the stone way leads to Challapampa town.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Saturday and Sunday are the best days to make the well known ritual called “CH´ALLA” in Copacabana. All the cars that arrive to Copacabana to be part of this ritual are parked on the main square of Copacabana. The owner of the car, buys bunches of fresh flowers to adorn it. Flowers should be very colourful because that gives good luck. The objective of taking there a car is to receive the good energy of that place and to assure good luck with this new acquisition.

Before the arrival of the invaders in 1542 in Copacabana there was this sacred place where people used to go and make rituals in order to ask to the pachamama (mother land) all kind of favors, especially for good luck and prosperity. As the invaders wanted to make dissapear any kind of ancient belief from indigenous peoples, they built a catholic church on the sacred place. But, as it was in the mind of people their ancient beliefs they have continued going to this place to ask for good luck. This belief is very strong and that´s why now not only indigenous people but also what we call mestizos or whites go there to ask for favors to this sacred place.

Some catholic people, buy a catholic image and puts it in the car. Other times they make sprinkle the car with water. There are also yatiris (wise indigenous men) that makes a fire ritual for the car. Other times, the owner of a car, takes it to the border of the lake and make it sprinkle with water but also makes a ritual to mother land, thanking for his new car and asking for luck and prosperity for him and for his car.

A lot of people go to Copacabana to make this ritual, especially people from the different cities of Bolivia and Perú.

Picture one. A car ornamented with fresh flowers.
Picture two. One of the places where one can buy flowers and any kind of ornaments for the cars.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Morenada Eloy Salmon, is one one the most important morenada groups in La Paz, Bolivia. This was founded on December 1968 in La Paz, and since that time has been participating in the most important folkloric events such as Gran Poder Parade which takes place at the end of May or beginnings of June each year. This group of dancers was founded by a group of people dedicated to sell machines, mainly sewing machines Singer which was very famous here in the 60’ s in La Paz.

Eloy Salmón, up to now is one of the main streets where one can buy many types of machines at more or less reasonable prices without invoice. Sellers of this street are generally very prosperous and used to participate in big folkloric events, dancing especially Morenada or other local dances which implies a lot of money.

Morenada is a dance which requires a heavy custom for men and the use of a lot of jewels for women. Eloy Salmon group used three characteristic colors, white, red and green.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Titicaca Lake is participating in a contest to become one of the new seven wonders together with other sites of Bolivia. But whether it gets that goal or not, it is the most beautiful lake and very important in the life of indigenous peoples. When I have the opportunity to visit one of the towns that sorround the lake, I am always surprised by its beauty and mystery.

More or less two weeks ago, there was found a group of ancient tombs in Copacabana, in Lake Titicaca. Up to now, archeologists have found 11 tombs buried in Cundisa. Cundisa is near the main square of Copacabana, aproximately one block. This place was supposed to be a peasant market but each day archeologists work, they find more and more buried people together with beautifuld objects that belong to Inka and Tiwanacu age. In the ancient times, people used to be buried accompanied with many valuable objects including gold ornaments. That´s why indigenous aymaras are still vigillant to the movements of the people working there, because they think some valuable pieces could be taken abroad as happened many times in the past.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Global Voices, Summit 2008 held in Budapest, Hungary, last June 27 and 28 is undoubtedly one of the most important events of Citizen Media in the world.

1. My first impression when I arrived to the GV Summit 20008 was of happiness not only to see again some of the members of Global Voices whom I had met last February in other event but also to meet other new friends. I felt as if I were part of a World Parliament because there were people from the different continents, all of them very well represented.

2. Most of the participants shared rooms. I shared the room with Elena from Macedonia. It was an opportunity for me to know about her country. I didn´t know for example that Macedonia was one of the states of ex Yugoslavia or that they are 2 millions inhabitants and other aspects of her culture. When I knew that I was going to share room with Elena I thought she was from Russia. I never expected to meet somebody from Macedonia, this was a surprise for me. In the same way, I could discover different realities of other people that live far away from the place I live. This helped me to enrich my knowledge of the world.

3. Other aspect that called my attention is the situation of bloggers in our countries. For example, when I want to write a post I enter an internet café and write. I can stay in the machine all the time I need and as soon as I finish I only have to pay. This is the common and frequent procedure bloggers follow in my country. But I found out that it is not the same in other countries. One of the bloggers in the Summit told me that he can not write in an internet café because the person in charge goes around to check what is being written and if he finds something contrary to the government, the blogger may suffer some consequences. Through the other sessions I also knew how censorship is used in some places to silence the voices of people.

4. Its two day programme was developed in sessions, five sessions each day. Lova Rakotomala was the moderator of Session 1 during the second day “ Web 2.0 goes Worldwide” with the participation of the following speakers: Collins Dennis Oduor from Repacted, Kenya, Mialy Andriamananjara from Foko, Madagascar, Catalina Restrepo from Hiperbarrio, Colombia and Cristina Quisbert from Voces Bolivianas, Bolivia. As this session had the objective to show the experiences being developed in our cities, I could know what Collins and Mialy are doing in other side of the world. It is important to know that a lot can be made when we have the tools and when we receive the training to use these tools. When it arrived my turn to speak I was afraid to lose my voice because I was not feeling well. I knew I had only ten minutes to speak about the Voces Bolivianas Project and my blogging experience with indigenousbolivia, but I think I spoke more although Nicholas showed me two times a card with the hour telling me with his eyes "time to finish".

5. I also want to point out the importance of Lingua. First, I opened a blog in Spanish, so all me contents were in that language, but it was a nice surprise to meet Leonard Chien, who translated one of my posts to Chinese. In the same way, Paula Góes from Brazil made a translation of one of my interviews using dotSUB. I could also speak with Claire Ulrich who translated one my posts into French. With the participation of these talented people, creators of content have the possibility to be read in different languages. It is really a great job people of Lingua do.

6. I liked a lot that people who were not physically in the place of the event could participate too and even ask questions which were answered by the speakers. This was in charge of Jillian, Deborah and other GV hardworking members.

7. I would like to mention something about the internal GV activities too. There was a lot of group work and this gave a different dynamic to the event. For each activity we were changing groups and that allowed to know different views to focus a topic apart from having the chance to speak with most of the members of GV.

8. I would like to extend more but I will stop with my next comment. I really enjoyed writing my name on two T-shirts. I didn´t know what they were for at first but when these T-Shirts were given as a present to Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon I was happy. I don´t know whose idea it was, but it was a good idea.

¡Congratulations and a lot of successes to each one of you,
members of Global Voices!

Picture 1. One of the sessions.
Picture 2. Jillian York and Deborah Dilley, hardworking girls.
Picture 3. Group work. In this moment, I can only recognize John Kennedy.
Picture 4. One of the T-Shirts with our names.

Friday, July 4, 2008


GV Summit 2008 ended and it was time to say goodbye. I was ready at 13:00 pm. last Tuesday and decided to go to the airport in the bus shuttle with, Collins , Lova and three girls whose names I can not remember in this moment.

I had plenty of time to take my flight to Frankfurt. It was preboarding time and I quietly followed this process. There was time enough to chat a bit with Viktor Kaonga, and then with Mialy and Deborah. After saying goodbye to them, I went to gate 23, just to find that my flight was delayed fifteen minutes. “It´s not much”, I said. “Anyway, I will be on time to follow the procedure at Frankfurt Airport”, I said.

At Fraport, I had to go to gate C16. I was quickly walking in that direction when an employee asked me, “¿To Sao Paulo?”, “Yes”, I answered. “You have to go to gate B28”, he said. I doubted, I didn´t know what to do. “If he is lying”, I asked myself for a minute. I showed him my ticket. “Tem trocado”, he said in Portuguese this time. “OK. I will go to B28 then”, I thought. When approaching this gate I saw a group of people questioning to the lady in charge of the airline desk. At first, I didn´t understand what was happening. Some minutes later, a voice said “Sao Paulo”, please, “Come here those who go to Sao Paolo”. The lady started her explanation first in German. “Die Maschine is kaput und…. aber… “, “The machine is broken and the flight will be delayed but the piece we need to repair the machine is here, so it will take four hours approximately to repair it”. Passengers completely annoyed, asked “¿And what is going to happen with connections to Chile?. The flight was supposed to arrive to Sao Paulo at 5:15 last Wednesday and connections to Chile were early in the morning. The answer was “For all those who have connections, it will be arranged as soon as you arrive to Sao Paulo Airport.”

“Now, what I will do”, I said. I had nothing to read. I was walking from here to there taking pictures. Some time later, I met a girl, Kaina León del Prado, a soccer player who was travelling to Chile. She started playing soccer since she was seven years and lately she was playing in an European team. “I am planning to star playing, soccer in a university team in my country” she said. “There is going to be a big event in Chile, a world female soccer championship”, she explained. I was surprised because it was the first time to meet a girl that plays soccer with such a long experience not only in an European country but also in her country. I wish a lot of successes in her plans of studies and also in the future soccer events.

Time went quickly and we were called to board the flight and after eleven hours and a half, the plane arrived to Sao Paulo. Some hours later, I took the plane to Santa Cruz and finally to El Alto. I collected my baggage, but something was wrong with it. When I departed from Hungary, I asked to send it direct to El Alto, La Paz. I don´t know where, but somebody broke two wheels and it can not slide as it used to. They were OK when I left it at the Hungarian Airport. But something else had happened to my baggage before. When I departed from El Alto to Hungary, my baggage had a padlock and when I arrived to the hotel in Hungary, I realized that it didn´t have the padlock, the zipper was not completely closed and all inside was in disorder. Nothing was taken, but I felt sad that somebody could have done that.

PD. I haven´t seen that type of internet machines in my country, so I decided to take a picture of that.

Following the steps of my ancestors

To the Amazon