Monday, January 26, 2009


¿Why is the New Bolivian Constitution so important? There are a lot of reasons. One of these, is in the first article, which says that Bolivia is a Plurinational, free, independent, intercultural, democratic State and with autonomies.
The inclusion of all the population in this Constitution is an important reform. Since the Constitution of 1826, most of the inhabitants belonging to the indigenous peoples were not included in this document, but now, it is not only recognized the existence of the indigenous peoples of high and low lands in Bolivia, but also their languages, their own spiritual beliefs and practices, etc.
One of the arguments used by the oppostion to this new Constitution said that it was discriminating. However, indigenous peoples and afrobolivians were discriminated for years. In many cases, no access or limited access to participate in the political power, no possibilites to education or health, many types of abuses, was something common.
We know that the application of the New Constitution may take some time, but there is a hope that all the laws and policies that could derive from this document can benefit all the people, not only to some families who governed Bolivia in the past.


When I returned to the school at 16:30, people in charge of the voting process were counting them. I stayed until about 18:00 and option Yes to the New Political Constitution won in all the suffrage tables in this school in El Alto.
I followed the news through a radio. Mass media says that option Yes won with more than 50%, and results will be presented officially in 25 days.


It was about 13:30 when I went to vote in my neighbourhood´s school in El Alto, La Paz. Fortunately, as I supposed it was not crowded as it used to be earlier in the morning for example. I approached the table where I had to vote, once checked my ID I had to sign in a kind of book. I was given the voting paper with a pen and I entered to one of the classrooms to vote. I came out of the classroom and put the voting paper on a box, after that my finger was marked with a violet ink and I was returned my ID and my suffrage certificate.
Voting in Bolivia is always on Sunday. Voting here is cumpolsory and one needs to present the certificate in banks and to make other transactions. During voting day there is no transportation, only, authorized cars can circulate, so, it is also an opportunity for families to be together, to speak with friends and neighbors.
Voting generally lasts 8 hours. So, more or at 16:30, the counting process begins. Votes are counted and verified one by one and they are registered on a blackboard.
This time, we voted for a new Political Constitution. It is the first time since 1825 that all the bolivian citizenship had the possibility to vote for a Constitution. This a change, a big change leaded by President Evo Morales.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Yesterday, a lot of people from rural and urban areas went to Murillo´s Square in order to participate in the celebration of the third year of the government of the first indigenous President in the history of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma.

Early in the morning, a new newspaper called "Cambio" was presented at the Government Palace. Most of mass media in Bolivia belong to the people of right wing, so it is important to have other kind of media too. Later, for about four hours President Morales informed about the results during the last three years and his plans for the next two years.

This January 25th. Bolivia will have a Referendum through which we will decide whether we want a new Political Constitution or not. Yesterday, it was the last day allowed for campaigns, so people stayed at Murillo´s Square to close the campaign for the "Yes" to the new Constitution too.

There is a lot of expectation on this Referendum. Campaigns for Yes or No, were at times conflictive. I will be writing more about this next Monday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Last Saturday I went to a town called Achacachi. Achacachi is indigenous aymara town which was celebrating its 183 anniversary. After participating in this celebration on the main square of that town, I went walking trying to find the house of a friend but suddenly I some people getting off a minibus. It was a couple of recently married arriving to a house, so I decided to take a picture. I approached the house when a cholita (aymara girl), told me ¡come in, take pictures to my sister...! With her permission I stayed for a while taking pictures of this wedding.
When the couple and the nearest family arrived they walked around the table twice as can be seen in the second picture. Later, other relatives started to arrive with presents.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Music is an important part of life and, this time a group of Sun Island musicians played some melodies during the inauguration of the Centro de Información de Turismo Comunitario.

Arriving to Copacabana

Last Saturday I arrived to Copacabana after travelling for about three hours. I was going to buy a ticket to go to Sun Island when I saw a group of people from the communities. I wanted to know what it was, so I went to the place of the meeting. At that moment, they were starting a ceremony to inaugurate a Touristic Information Center from the community. I saw that this office also includes a shop to sell handcrafts made by women and men from Moon Island and two communities from Sun Island, Challa and Challapampa. According to the information I received, members of the communities participated in workshops and due to that they received their certificates too.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Election Day in the neighborhood

Last Sunday, it was developed a meeting at August 16th. neighborhood. As it happens every year, this time it was elected the new Directory which will lead the neighborhood during 2009. Among the candidates we elected the President, Vicepresident and the Secretaries. It was a bit difficult to elect them, because some neighbors didn´t want to accept the nomination because to be a member of the directory means to spend a lot of time doing administrative procedures in the official channels.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Surviving on El Alto streets

El Alto is said to be the youngest city in Bolivia. Its inhabitants are mostly young people, lots of children and adolescents. Many of the families are leaded only by mothers. So, sometimes there is no other possibility than to sit on one of the streests or stairs and sell something or ask for money.

Following the steps of my ancestors

To the Amazon