An effigy with ropes around the neck. Looking like a person. A warning to potential thieves and criminals, which can be found in most rural villages in Bolivia. However, the threat is not idle. The communities usually brutally take justice into their own hands.
Mining – among South America’s, and the world’s worst jobs. Miners usually die of silicosis after ten to twenty years of working in the mines. Others, in accidents. However, in the highest city in the world, Potosi, there are few other job alternatives, as the mines are the economy of the city.
During the Virgin of Urkupiña festival in Quillacollo, Bolivia, it is believed that when buying miniature objects, you will receive the real objects in the future as blessings. Everything is to be found in miniature: houses, cars, babies, food, certificates, money, visas, flight tickets etc. Read the stories of people that claim they got what they desired after buying these miniatures. I also reveal which objects I bought.
The homeless youth of Cochabamba in Bolivia have taught me several things I never could have learned attending the university. Do you believe me when I say that? Because most people see them as trash, pests and without worth. But for me, these youths are strong, creative and intelligent. Even businessmen can learn a great deal from the street youth.
In Paraguay, sharing the national drink tereré is not just a thirst quencher. It is a social and cultural experience. Tereré is also seen as medicine. While the thermo is often used as a fashion statement. In the capital Asunción, everybody drink tereré. Independent of if you are a poor or rich man.
In Bolivia, around 15.000 children live with their parents in prison. Andrea is one of them. Read about my meeting with this 7 years old girl, and my visit to her home; San Sebastián jail.