Carnival in Bolivia is known worldwide, especially in Oruro, which is recognised by UNESCO. Carnival lasts approximately one week, a tradition passed along from our ancestors, who gave offerings to ´Pachamama´ (Mother Earth) and to ´Tio Supay´ (the Devil). The big parade in Oruro is considered to be cultural, traditional, artistic and folkloric human heritage, as is its Devil´s dance and music, which is joyous and outstanding. Each department in Bolivia has different ways of celebrating Carnival. Each city elects a Queen of Carnival, who delight the people with her beauty, charm, and innovative and exuberant costume. There are dance groups of children, young people and adults who dance throughout different sectors of the city accompanied by drums, trumpets and cymbals.
Carnival in Bolivia
Families get together to enjoy a delicious barbeque, traditional for this time of year. Additionally, each city hosts an parade of innumerable dance groups through their main squares. The most respected authorities of the cities are among the spectators. In rural areas, people perform the ´Pucara´ where all celebrate in style and the famous ´Pandillas´ are in charge of livening things up so they dance with great joy and enthusiasm.
As we all know, remembering the New Year is a true celebration for the majority of Bolivia´s population. One important New Year´s Eve tradition is to wear red underwear, hoping that you will find a new love or eternal love. Some hoping that you will find a new love or eternal love. Some people prefer to wear yellow underwear, which is supposed to give them abundant money and health throughout the next year. Another significant custom is to eat twelve grapes representing each of the twelve months of the year, and as you eat each grape, you make a wish.Spending the night with your family signifies that all family members will live in harmony and unity. Eating pork will bring good fortune and eating chicken is entirely the opposite. A few second before midnight fireworks chase away all the evil spirits and bad thoughts from the house.
My family history is long, but I will tell you about some moments, both sad and happy, which stand out for me. There are twelve characters in the story, six male, four female and my parents. The most admirable character is without a doubt my mother, for bringing into the world eleven human beings and being very brave on so many occasions. I love her very much and I´m thankful for having had her always by mine and my sibling´s side. The truth is, life has been difficult for my whole family. We had to earn a living from an early age, and in our lifetimes we have witnessed two accidents which nearly claimed two of my sisters lives.
I will start off by saying that my mothers first three child-births were normal, but the fourth brought twins. We were both born normal and strong, but unfortunately, within our first few months Johnny, my twin, died. He got sick during the winter, and my parents did everything within their reach to save him. I would have liked to grow up with my brother and share moments with our family. He is still alive in our hearts. After such a sad time, my mother gave birth to Nelson, who was born normally, with no problems.
Two years later, we found out she was pregnant with Maria, but during this pregnancy she started having sharp pains, and before we could take her to the hospital she went into labour at home. My father had to take them both to stay at the hospital, where my sister had to stay in an incubator as she was very weak from the experience. We stayed with my aunt, as we were all very young, my oldest brother being only ten years old. My father became more and more worried. He wouldn´t tell us what was wrong so that we wouldn´t worry, and only told us they would soon be out of the hospital and that when that happened, we would al be able to go home. We were very innocent, and we believed him. The truth is we really missed our mother….to be continued….
Many of the children who sell the Inti magazine got a treat when they were taken to a town near Sucre called Yotala where we went to the house of Don Nicholas, a place where they enjoyed many fun activities. From the moment we found the children waiting in the square in Sucre, they were very excited for the trip and especially to get to the pool. On the way, inside the bus they sang many songs and played several games.
When the group arriced there, it was very beautifull, with lots of trees, swimming pools and volleyball and soccer courts. Immediatly the children started walking all over the place and some played soccer with Randall who made many of the children laugh. Others went to the courts, and the girls went to change into their bathing suits for the pool. They ate a snack, then swam in the pool before lunch, although the water was cold, it was very interesting to them there, because you could see in their faces and incredible joy. They were laughing and playing. One thing that was interesting was that the older children took care of the smaller children because some could swim very well. It was incredibly fun.
Leaving the pool the kids were all very hungry, so we prepared a lunch with chicken, rice, and salad; it was very delicious. The children finished their lunch and returned to the pool and played with a ball other typical water games. The best part was that it looked like one big family, including the volenteers who went to help watch the kids. It was a day of relaxation and fun for the kids, so the kids had a memorable trip. Upon returning to Sucre all of the kids were very tired and some even fell asleep on the bus. It was a very succesfull excursion. We are looking forward to the next trip with the Inti kids
La revista Inti, tuvo la oportunidad de realizar una actividad con los niños que tenían problemas con su dentadura, gracias a que se dio la posibilidad de poder pagar el gasto del material que utilizo nuestra encargada de marketing Silvia V. Argani (quien es odontóloga de profesión), quien curo los dientes de nuestros niños. Esta actividad lo realizamos, porque vimos por conveniente que los niños necesitaban hacerse revisar los dientes, que son susceptibles de sufrir un proceso de putrefacción (caries) y no siempre tienen la oportunidad de ir al dentista puesto que no cuentan con mucho tiempo ya que la mayor parte lo pasan trabajando y lo que no tienen es dinero y con eso de las clases les es dificultoso ir a hacerse revisar sus preciados dientes. Además sin contar con ninguna información adecuada de tener una alimentación sana y el cepillado diario de los dientes los cuales ayudan a evitar que aparezcan problemas en la boca y que es necesario que el tratamiento dental sea precoz para evitar complicaciones serias, ya que los dientes, a diferencia de la mayoría de otros órganos, no son capaces de regenerarse. Algunos de los asistentes al dentista fueron muy valientes porque sus dientes ya estaban muy lastimados y tuvieron que ser pacientes con la cura de estos.
Posted in Bolivia, Children, Donate, Inti, Inti updates, Magazine, Street children, Sucre, Volunteering
Tagged Bolivia, Children, Inti, magazine, Street Children, Sucre, Volunteering