Carmen Pampa, Bolivia

Host Community: 

The Unidad Académica Campesina-Carmen Pampa (UAC-CP), supported by Carmen Pampa Fund, is the only institution of higher learning in Bolivia's mountainous rural Yungas area. As a result of the College's work, its graduates are now creatively facing the challenges of poverty for their families, their communities and their country, while also respecting and preserving their native cultures. Founded in 1993, the Unidad Académica Campesina - Carmen Pampa (the College) has received students from universities from around the U.S. for immersion and mission experience for many years. 

Justice Issues: 

Agriculture in rural Bolivia: Introduction to native diet and foods, and a tour of the College’s organic garden. Opportunity for cooking and tasting Andean foods. 

Coffee production: Tour coffee fields and the processing plant to understand how coffee is grown and processed (potential work day) 

Public health program: In addition to a presentation and talk back session, small groups of 2-3 students could accompany our Health Center on community visits. These visits are generally to give vaccinations, check in on the elderly, and to educate community members about tuberculosis. 

History of the Agrarian Revolution and social change in Bolivia: A visit with community member Jose Tintaya. 

History of Afro-Bolivian culture in Bolivia with a tour, lunch/dinner, and a presentation of the traditional music and the Saya, a traditional dance. 

Cultural Opportunities: 

Staying on site at the University will provide us with many opportunities to interact with local students our own age and learn about their culture directly from them. We will be paired with a few student interpreters and guides during our stay to help build that connection. During our free time on site we will participate in community events such as evening futbol tournaments, cultural nights with dancing, singing, poetry, and skits, and cultural discussions with locals. 

Food, Lodging, Travel: 

We will fly from MSP into Bolivia and be met by volunteers from Carmen Pampa and taken to the University. Student housing is generally bunk beds in a summer camp style, with community bathrooms and no hot water. All meals will be provided on campus during the weekdays and we will either cook our own or eat at local restaurants on Sundays. 

More Info: 

Possible activities include: 

  • Resurfacing the Campus Manning Futbol/Basketball Court 

  • Helping renovate the Campus Manning Library and Computer Room 

  • Painting (classrooms, dormitories, offices etc. on both campuses) 

  • Clearing crop fields (usually performed with machetes)