May 29 - May 31, 2013. Copachuncho, Bolivia.

"Regresar a Bolivia"

It’s been a crazy first week in Bolivia! First of all I want to give a big THANK YOU!!!! to everyone who has pledged toward my Kickstarter campaign. In just a week we’ve reached almost half my goal! I feel so blessed and fortunate to have such generous people in my life. Thank you all for supporting what I do and believing in this project. Please continue spreading the word. Crowdfunding only works if everyone chips in just a little bit. Remember, I have lots of fun rewards to offer for those who make a pledge!


Ok, where to start… I had to make my Kickstarter campaign public last week while I was waiting in the La Paz airport to catch a flight to Cochabamba. I found out a little late that we would be heading directly to site after landing in Cochabamba so I had to get the word out before I would be without Internet access for an unknown period of time. Sure enough, as soon as we landed we piled into a minivan and off we went! It was a long ride out into the Bolivian countryside going cautiously over rough and bumpy roads, but it was beautiful. We chatted up the driver and chewed coca to pass the time. Everyone seemed pretty excited and I was happy to be seeing familiar sites again.


We arrived in Copachuncho about four hours later but didn’t stop in the pueblito. Our site was just a few kilometers out of town where the river winded through tall dry hills and a few sparse homesteads. We would be staying at an old iglesia with a big room to lay down all our sleeping pads and bags. There was one pileta with running water and a gas lamp but no electricity or toilets. The team would be roughing it for a few weeks but they didn’t seem to mind.


We got to work right away at the bridge site. There was still some work to be done with the excavation and some of the materials had been delayed by government paperwork. I appreciated the down time since I still needed to become familiar with all my new camera gear. I fashioned a makeshift shoulder mount for my camera and practiced setting up my interview gear in an old adobe building that did a decent job of blocking out the sound of the river while providing a good amount of diffuse light for video. After a few days of digging and moving rocks the team took a half day break to wash clothes and relax in the sun while I pulled them aside one by one for some preliminary interviews on their impressions of Bolivia and previous experiences traveling abroad.


There weren’t a lot of people around since we were so far out of town but the locals who showed up were amiable and hard working. They didn’t seem to mind me running around with my camera either and I even got in an impromptu interview with one of the workers. It helped that I brought gifts of coca and made unabashed attempts at broken Spanish whenever I could. The men showed up for the hard labor while the women took turns hauling us meals three times a day from as far as an hour’s walk away. The evenings were filled with energetic kids wanting to play futbol late into the night, even when all the lights went down. I'm a night owl so used the time to practice my star trails and time-lapses, getting in a few good shots before my batteries died.

Photos: Copachuncho, Bolivia
Timelapse: Stars over la iglesia

Read about B2P's work in Bolivia HERE.

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Blog Archive

Chari Chari, Bolivia
"Una Vez Más"

2013.06.30: Cochabamba, Bolivia

Las Cruces, Bolivia
"Seguro Travesía"

2013.06.21: Copachuncho, Bolivia
"Duke/CU Bridge Fiesta"


Palca, Bolivia
"U-M Bridge Fiesta"

Rodeo Chico, Bolivia

2013.05.31: Copachuncho, Bolivia
"Regresar a Bolivia"

La Paz, Bolivia
"Bridging Cultures"