and Climate Change
Our July 2012 delegation is now closed. Check back soon for future dates!
Guided by expert local guides as well as a Food First policy analyst, this delegation will give you rare access to rural communities, local NGOs and social movements working for food and climate justice in Bolivia. You will also visit some of the most spectacular landscapes in South America…
Bolivia is one of the countries least responsible for global climate change—yet it is one of the most exposed to its effects. In recent years, changes in weather and water availability have taken a heavy toll on the country’s people and food production. Luckily, Andean farmers have a long history of coping with climatic variability. By drawing on this ancestral knowledge and collaborating with agricultural NGOs, they are now working to adapt their farming and herding systems to the new climate realities.
Bolivian social movements and the government of Evo Morales have positioned Bolivia as a moral authority on climate change in the world. In April 2010, Bolivia hosted a “People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth” in the city of Cochabamba. Representatives from social organizations from 130 mostly poor countries were in attendance and produced a ‘People’s Agreement’ aimed at pushing the international community to adopt stiffer limits on greenhouse gas emissions in the North, and greater compensation for victims of climate change in the South.
On this tour, you will be immersed in Andean culture, which is marked by an intimate relationship with nature. The concept of the Pachamama (loosely translated as Mother Earth) is strongly interconnected with Andean food and agriculture. So while Bolivian farmers are disproportionately affected by global climate change, they also have much to teach the world about working with nature and adapting to the climate. Indeed, they are also at the forefront of a global movement linking food sovereignty and climate justice.
This unique opportunity to experience Bolivia’s fascinating food systems, rural cultures and social movements is brought to you by Food First in collaboration La Paz on Foot, a La Paz-based ecotourism and environmental education company specializing in Andean farming systems. Delegation leader Tanya Kerssen is a food policy expert with extensive experience conducting research and leading educational trips in Bolivia. You can contact her with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour highlights include:
- City tour of the spectacular cities of La Paz and El Alto, with visits to food markets and discussion of urbanization, rural-urban linkages, and the pressures of population and climate change on urban water infrastructure
- Day trip to the foot of the tropical glacier Huayna Potosí accompanied by a climate change expert. Huayna Potosí is the largest single source of drinking water and hydroelectric power for the cities of La Paz/El Alto. On this excursion, you will see first-hand how rapid glacial melting is impacting the cities and surrounding rural areas.
- Walking tour through coca terraces in traditional coca-growing communities; coca-chewing workshop; and discussion of the history of coca cultivation, the impacts of the U.S.-led Drug War and new coca policies under Evo Morales.
- Homestay in an Aymara farming community on the shores of Lake Titicaca; participate in food preparation, traditional textile weaving, and seasonal agricultural activities TBD; and interview community elders about the impacts of climate change.
- Meet with the Bolivian NGO FOBOMADE to discuss food sovereignty in Bolivia. FOBOMADE works with Bolivian organizations and movements to strengthen local food economies, resist GMOs, and promote food sovereignty. The organization was influential in the incorporation of food sovereignty in the new Bolivian constitution, passed in 2009.
- Meet with the Bolivian NGO PROINPA, which works closely with peasant communities to preserve agro-biodiversity, re-value native Andean crops, and promote climate change adaptation
- Meet with the Cochabamba-based Democracy Center to discuss climate justice and Bolivia’s role in global negotiations.
- Learn about the specific challenges to Cochabamba’s rural and urban water supply, in the aftermath of the historic “water war” of 2000.
- Visit an agrarian college nested in the subtropical Eastern slopes of the Andean mountain range, a region known as the “yungas”; Learn about coffee and coca production in the region and the challenges facing yungas peasants.
- Share traditional communal meals called “apthapis” with rural families
- Travel through diverse agro-ecological zones of Bolivia: high Andes/altiplano; Lake Titicaca; subtropical Yungas and humid Inter-Andean valleys.
For an additional cost, you can extend your visit with a guided eco-tour of one of Bolivia’s many other amazing sites, such as the famous Uyuni Salt Flats or Madidi National Park in the Western Amazon Basin. These Add-On tours are operated exclusively by our Bolivian partner La Paz on Foot and do not include Food First staff or Food First-directed content. For more information contact Tanya.
Our July 2012 Bolivia delegation is now closed. Check back soon for future dates! You can contact Bolivia Coordinator Tanya at email@example.com or call (510) 654-4400