Monday, February 8, 2010

School Zone

Today, the director in Cochabamba took me to an outlying community called Vinto where Amizade volunteeers have, over the years, built classrooms at the local school. I spent the morning in classrooms, meeting teachers, the principal, and students and even helping some youngsters with English. I hope to post pictures of my experience tomorrow and describe what I learned. First here's a brief synopsis of some scenes I captured that describe the surroundings.
The first photo, taken at another nearby school, is of a parent or family member inquirying about some school issue. I chose this photo to indicate what many of the younger ladies look like that I saw walking along the dirt lanes by the school.
The landscape of the second photo shows the community's exceptionally fertile land, which is nestled below the Andes foothills. There are fields of corn, potatoes and other row crops, but I only noticed people working with their hands. I saw no tractors or heavy equipment. School lasts only a half day so children can work the fields next to the parents. It may look idyllic, but please note the third picture.
In this last shot, a home and stall combination, where probably several students live, there is no electricity, running water, or sanitary facilities. Also some of the school children you will see tomorrow live high in the mountains and come down once a week and stay in the village in order to make their schooling possible.
It was another emotionally moving day on my Amizade Adventure and I look forward to bring you tomorrow's installment.


  1. Yeah, the romantic and idyllic sensibilities come to a screeching halt when you see the reality!

    Very interesting, Lee.

    Are you enjoying your work so far?

  2. I can sense that this incredible experience is having a double effect on you -- the incredible beauty, the good people on one hand and the poverty, the serious lack of so many things that we take so for granted on the other. I'm quite sure it would have affected me the same way. But these are the experiences are priceless ones -- as long as you can continue to see the bright side. Like Jacob, I hope you're enjoying it.


  3. The people are so colorful, and this also brings home the side we would all like to help change. The little tyke looks pretty miserable at the moment and is clutching a hunk of corn cob, it looks like. I'm anxious to hear more. These three photos tell a lot along with your description. The name "Bolivia" has new meaning for me now.

  4. Nice shots that tell a story.
    What a beautiful woman with an equally sweet child. It certaintly a beautiful countryside..

    Everything comes back in focus when one sees the living conditions.

    Is there a solution? MB

  5. One day I'd like to meet you and talk about "helping" other peoples. The older I get, the more the unflailing certainties of my youth become doubts...

    The two top photos are magical.