Cochabamba, Bolivia – ANDEAN PILGRIMAGE
October 26 - November 7, 2013
ĦAski jutawi jilatanaka kullakanaka! Bienvenido, Bienvenida a Bolivia - Welcome to Bolivia
The Maryknoll Lay Missioners invite you to visit our work in Bolivia, one of the most impoverished nations in the western hemisphere. Traveling the City of Cochabamba, you will have the unique opportunity to meet with church workers, Aymara and Quechua community leaders and social activists.
You will explore important themes such as immigration, use of natural resources like water, and the empowerment of historically marginalized sectors of society such as indigenous persons and women. You will also learn about the history of mission to the Bolivian people and have opportunities for Catholic and inter-religious prayer and reflection with Maryknoll Lay Missioners and the entire Maryknoll community, as well as spiritual leaders from the indigenous Aymara and Quechua traditions.
Your pilgrimage will occur at a fascinating time. In December of 2005, for the first time in history, the people of Bolivia elected an indigenous president – Evo Morales Aima. After centuries of oppression, the people of Bolivia have renewed hope and strength in their struggles for equality, justice and dignity. You will have a firsthand opportunity to see how a country made up of over 40 different ethnic groups (approximately 65% of the population is indigenous) is struggling to fully incorporate these historically oppressed peoples into society. You will be a witness to the on-going change in daily life. The Bolivia pilgrimage with these incredible people will stir your heart, inspire your faith, and deepen your desire for peace and justice in the world.
Your time in Bolivia will be focused on meeting and making friends with Bolivians. You will be introduced to political and social realities. You will learn about their culture, faith and history. By accompanying the Maryknoll lay missioners in their daily ministries, you will gain unique insights into the contemporary struggles of the oppressed in Bolivia.
What Will You Do?
- Meet with Bolivian activists, including indigenous leaders, environmental activists, and indigenous spiritual leaders.
- Accompany Maryknoll Lay Missioners in their ministries, including education, immigration, health service, water projects, youth groups, and criminal justice.
- Visit open market, or Cancha, of Cochabamba and interact with Bolivian artisans. You’ll have opportunities to buy crafts such as pottery, weavings, indigenous musical instruments such as the charango and the highest quality hand knit Alpaca sweaters and accessories – directly from the artisans.
- Visit the Maryknoll Mission Center in Cochabamba. Learn about the history of Catholic mission in Bolivia---and the future of mission in Bolivia.
- Participate in All Souls day religious activities at the General Cemetery of Cochabamba.
- Deepen your faith through daily Gospel reflection, prayer and interaction with local spiritual leaders. Don Calixto Quispe Huanca, for example, is a Catholic Deacon and an Aymara religious leader who will accompany the group in a brief retreat.
- Experience the wide diversity of Bolivia’s national cuisine (where organically grown is the tradition), from the freshest tropical fruits, to nourishing and fresh soups, to Andean grains such as quinua.
- Visit Aiquile, Music Festival. Dance to the indigenous music while learning about their centuries old instruments.
- Visit tourist sites: Cathedral of Cochabamba & other local parish churches, main Plaza, 14 de septiembre, of Cochabamba, Cristo de Concordia monument.
Important Requirements for this trip:
In order to have a great time please consider these guidelines:
- Doing the visits to the different ministries and enjoying tourist sites requires ability to walk, unassisted, up to 45 minutes without stopping and ability to remain standing for up to 30 minutes.
- Ability to climb up and down stairs - getting in and out of transportation, accommodation sites, and from airplanes without walkways.
- Ability to acclimate well to altitude - 2,560 meters or 8,396 feet above sea level. If on prescription medicine, please consult your health care provider about the impact altitude may have on your health.
- Ability to eat a variety of foods, vegetarian diets can be handled.
- Ability to not be severely impacted by high level of air pollution, dust and noise associated with Cochabamba.
- Willingness to be different; due to physical traits such as skin complexion, language, clothing and other individual characteristics.
Logistics and Costs
Prior to leaving, Friends Across Borders will provide an orientation which will include cross-cultural education and important cultural norms to follow during the trip. Our in-country guide will be Joe Loney, current Maryknoll Lay Missioner. You will also be accompanied on the entire trip by two experienced MKLM guides, TBD, from the United States. Click on their names to read about them.
TOTAL COST: $ 1,825 (ground cost plus registration fee).
Deadline for Sign Ups to form the group:
July 26, 2013
Minimum: 10 Maximum: 15
This covers the program registration fee ($200 non-refundable unless program is cancelled), all lodging and meals in country, all transportation within the country (including national air travel), medical insurance with medical evacuation, English-Spanish speaking guides, cultural activities, and tourist fees. International airfare, taxes, and visa are not included. (Roundtrip airfare cost from Miami is approximately $ 875).
Friends Across Borders will provide information on obtaining a visa and immunizations, and will help you make the international flight arrangements. For International travel arrangements we recomend you contact JOE TOSTO from TRAVEL NETWORK at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 914-962-5791. Joe Tosto is a travel agent who helps with Friends Across Borders trips. Joe will plan your itinerary from the international airport nearest you to Bolivia. He will try to set it up in a way that most of the participants travel together or arrive at the same time. If you have frequent flyer miles, he also can help with that. Participants are required to arrive in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on Saturday October 26 and leave on November 7, 2013.
To make a reservation, please Download an Application Form, fill it out and send it to Friends Across Borders with a copy of your passport and your $200 deposit. Please make sure your passport is valid through May 2014!
We look forward to welcoming you to Bolivia!