I meet with “Diego” (false name used to protect himself and his family), who shares some interesting information with me about Bolivia.
“Diego” informs me that the Bolivian government spends about $250,000 per week on advertising, yet some orphanages don´t even have shampoo. He also states that whenever there is a crisis in Bolivia, the president will speak with Venezuela´s and Cuba´s leaders.
Diego speaks of the animal rights abuses taking place here in the witch´s markets… Condor bird´s wings are found chopped off, and as I saw with my own eyes, there are Jaguar skins and whole, dead baby Llamas strung up by the dozen. He rolls stories off the tongue about children being electrocuted by their alcoholic parents, and forests being wiped out by Cocoa plantations.
Later, as I walk down the street with the view of sparkling homes sunk into the surrounding mountains, I dodge piles of garbage at every street corner. Dogs are savagely ripping apart the leftovers of the city, and women, with children hugged to their backs with colourful cloth, are also picking at the remains in the gutters.
Since the day I arrived here, I have felt a strange vibe building. Diego talks of things perhaps going hay-wire here over the next few months. He says Bolivia is continually unstable and that it could become very dangerous for foreigners soon. Already there is hatred towards Americans brewing. Beth told me she saw a lady the other day who was being harassed and beaten over the head by the fists of locals… just because she was American.
The other night, Beth and I heard banging noises, and we weren´t sure if it was dynamite being thrown, gun shots… or what! We laughed a fair bit when we soon saw fireworks lighting up the sky.