dai volontari

“Through the heart of South America”.

By Giulia Cassiani 

  1. An undiscovered jewel, Bolivia conceals an ancient history within the borders of its transcendent landscapes. Nature at its wildest, incredible geography, from dusty red mountains and prehistoric jungles to high altitude cities and solitary villages, a traditional and intense cultural experience, Bolivia is as breathtaking as it is seriously challenging. There is an antique grace in the glance of people, a warm and passionate beauty in their smiles, an atavistic strength in the way they always seem to overcome all of the odds.

    Delve into it, breathe it in, let it change you.

  2. The resilient work that the competent and amazing therapists do at the “Sol en Casa – Yanapasayku” Foundation. Every morning, as I open the creaky, old wooden door, the hum of happy talk, flushes of emotions, voices, glimpses, laughters strike me. Between pedagogy, music- and art-therapy, yoga, cooking and baking classes, gardening and manual skill laboratories minutes, hours and days slide by, leaving me with a sense of contentment, hope and gentle fierceness in the stringers of my heart. It’s a challenge, it’s a race after patience, time and time again, it’s a dedicated shaving of excess from the layers of my mind.

  1. With over 36 indigenous cultures, most with their own language, Bolivia blends ageless, traditional customs and values with a practical modern lifestyle in an impressive way. Many indigenous people still wear traditional clothes, cure illnesses using natural remedies (observe, learn, take it home with you) and speak their native language. These fascinating, ancient cultures, like Quechua, Aymara, Guarani and Incas, have left a peculiar imprint all over the valleys, among the giant ferns in the tropical jungle, in the cracks of the Andean cliffs and in the dry mountain deserts.

  2. Walking down these voracious and colorful roads feels different, unique. The shoes, brushing against the street pavement, leave a imprint unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The astonishing and vibrant colors, the pungent smell, the lickerish taste, the conglomerate of people: here, even the tiniest marble speaks a language that’s been lost elsewhere in the world.

  3. Smiling zebras”: these kind traffic wardens make sure that people can get safely to the other side of the road, which here, among these chaotic streets, can be extremely tricky, dangerous and gift you with a near-death experience. Their cheerful vibes and playfulness render your morning all the more sweet.

  4. Because empanadas, salteñas, cuñapes, humintas. Mouthwatering. No need to explain it any further.

  5. Sometimes everything will be dreadful. You’ll be missing your mom, your sister, your boyfriend, your sister’s boyfriend, your best friends’ plants and yes, your hairdresser, too. You will feel an ache in you heart every time you hear their voices, their laughters, their smiles through an ocean’s distance; you will actually end up feeling that you’re having a (loving, nonetheless) relationship with your phone – when you’re lucky enough to have an Internet connection, that’s for sure. I know it sounds more like a reason not to move to the other side of the world, but believe me when I tell you that everyday that goes by, it makes me appreciate the people I call home, the places I’ve always loved, the food that tastes like family (I’m Italian, don’t blame it on me) more intensely. Every morning I count my blessings and it seems the more I’m grateful for all the beauty in my life, the more my life is beautiful.

    As hard as nostalgia may hit you from time to time, you will return home with a spirit stronger than ever and a glimpse of magnificence between the palms of your hands.

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