FKC journal | Gender equity in Aqua Blanca, Bolivia

After our visit in Sucre it was time to hit the road again. We arrived at La Paz, one of the highest cities in the world (3600m), were we stayed for one night. In the early morning it was already time to say goodbye. Because a new adventure was waiting for us… 

Agua blanca Carview La Paz 

Agua blanca
Sheppard with his Llama flock

A bumpy road with lots of Llamas and Alpacas along the way with breathtaking views. After a 12 hour drive from La Paz we arrived at a small village called Agua Blanca (named after the rivers and waterfalls over here) near the border of Peru. Together with Yolanda and a priest of the organization ISEAT we visited the local village people and lived with them for 3 days. Around 100 families live in this village, nestled between snow-capped mountains. 1300 ft above sea level without any mobile and internet connection. But is that important when you have your friends and families around you and views like these? I was here to talk to these men and women about gender equality.

Agua blanca Nature of Agua Blanca

Agua blanca Shy girl staring contest

Agua blancaKids having fun 

The workshops
The leaders of the village get monthly workshops by ISEAT – an organization of theologians supported by ‘Mensen met een Missie’- . An important topic here is also gender equality and gender-based violence between men and women. Almost half of the women in this village are single, they don’t have faith in men or left their men. The leaders tell us that violence against women is thankfully getting less and that you already see the difference. Men help out in householding and take over some of the tasks from their wives.

Agua blancaThe leaders of Aqua Blanca

The Future of Women in Agua Blanca
Some of the women and men here, follow the workshops of ISEAT and Mensen Met een Missie. According to them you will find not as much violence in their village like in the bigger cities. There’s still some physical and psychological violence against women but you won’t see that 0ut in the open. Things are getting better.

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