We held tightly to the ropes that held the crates of beer to the floor upon landing, and squealed as we hovered slightly before coming back down hard . So that’s why seatbelts on planes are so important! As the door opened we were hit with steamy air, thick with humidity and the scent of verdant earth. We had arrived in San Ignacio, Bolivia, in the middle of the jungle. I turned to my friend Maria as we climbed down to the dirt runway, and exclaimed breathlessly, “you never told me”! Maria has been my best friend since high school, and though we grew up in the same town outside of Boston, she had spent the year after her parents split up when she was 13, in Bolivia, where they were from. San Ignacio, was the town her mother had grown up in, and where her grandparents still lived. Chickens ran through the open structure of the home, and you poured buckets of water brought from the lake over you for showers in the outdoor shower stall. I had never seen any place so beautiful, so wild, and natural in my entire life. As we stepped off the cargo plane we had taken to get there, I was totally blown away.
We spent the summer between sophomore and junior year of College in Bolivia visiting Maria’s relatives and traveling around the country. I was struck by the economic extremes, while we stayed at one cousin’s house in the suburbs of La Paz, we met wealthy Bolivian kids who took us to the nightclubs in their BMW’s and had households full of staff. This was contrasted by shacks climbing the sides of the hills that lined the city of La Paz where we stayed with her Aunt, there seemed to be no middle class, just ultra rich or what in the U.S.A. we would consider extremely poor. Our summer in Bolivia was filled with crazy South American adventures of all kinds, and it cracked open my world. The people, food, landscapes and culture of Bolivia found a permanent place in my heart.
When I heard about the World Food Program initiative to provide meals to school children in Bolivia I wanted to take part. As a member of the Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health committed to Social Good, we are committed to spreading the word about important programs such as this. The World Food Programme is part of the United Nations System and, is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The WFP provides meals to 80,000 children in Bolivia, which is one of the poorest countries in South America. Malnutrition causes stunting in 40% of the children in the poorest areas of Bolivia, and the World Food Program is working to break the cycle of hunger so the kids can get the nutrition they need to stay in school and to achieve their full potential.
You can make one of the children benefitting from this program extremely happy by simply sending a message to one of the school children in Bolivia. There a communications officer will translate and share your messages with the kids as well as translate and deliver their answers back to you. Click here to send your message now.