Five Volunteer Posts for Sustainable Bolivia

During my three months as volunteer/resident writer at Sustainable Bolivia, I contributed five posts to the Sustainable Bolivia blog. It was a fun project to bring the blog back to life and share some details of the Sustainable Bolivia experience with its online audience. Below are the five articles I wrote during my time there:

SB Field Trip: EMSA, the Waste Treatment Center of Cochabamba

Sustainable-Bolivia-EMSA-trip-4On a Thursday morning in September, a group of 18 Sustainable Bolivia volunteers and office staff gathered in the main house for a field trip. Destination: the city dump. As part of SB’s efforts over the past several months to raise awareness, accountability, and action toward sustainability, the SB staff organized an outing to the Empresa Municipal de Servicios de Aseo (EMSA) for some insight into the waste collection and treatment system in the larger Cochabamba metropolitan area. Keep reading …


Artist in Residence Johannes Bierling Shares His Work

Johannes-Bierling-2For a constructive abstract sculptor like Johannes Bierling, taking his work on the road is no small task. Johannes’ primary medium is wood, and his sculptures and installations make for large-scale exhibitions. When he and his wife Catherine decided to spend a month with Sustainable Bolivia as artists in residence, he planned to work on more portable forms and stages of his art, such as sketches and paper models. “In a work in progress, sometimes you must change direction,” commented Johannes. “You must make a radical cut.” Keep reading …


August Dia de Trabajo: A Day at Atendi

Atendi-3Each month, the staff at Sustainable Bolivia coordinates a día de trabajo (work day) where all the volunteers can join forces and offer the help of a big group to one of its partner organizations.This month, the organization selected was Atendi, a center for children with physical and developmental disabilities. Atendi, which works to provide a stimulating atmosphere for the children through programs like physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, had a big task for the twelve volunteers who turned out. Keep reading …


Cleaning Up the Cristo: A SB Volunteer Takes Action

brian-picking-up-trash-300x225On a Saturday morning, a handful of SB volunteers gathered at the casa principal to hike up to the top of “the Cristo.” They do this hike often, but this time the group is equipped with a supply of trash bags and some rubber gloves. The mini-mission for today is to do something about the litter problem along the stairway up. Cochabamba is famous for being the home to the world’s largest statue of Jesus. At 34.2 meters in height, the figure beats Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer by 4.1 meters. Keep reading …


Volunteer Brainstorm: How to Jumpstart Action Toward Sustainability?

Gateway-to-the-Casa-PrincipalJR and Erin framed the discussion by describing the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, socio-cultural, and economic. While many of the post-it ideas about sustainability were concerned with the environmental aspects, the need to consider all aspects was soon made clear. In a room full of people like this one, forward-thinking people who have rerouted their travels and even their lives to contribute toward a better and more sustainable Bolivia, informed opinions run strong. Keep reading …


  1. says

    Great blog, Cynthia – all very applicable to other destinations too. Do give us a shout if you’d ever like to write a piece for us about your future adventures with purpose. Keep up the good work! – Sam


  1. […] I applied to spend time at Sustainable Bolivia through their artist residency program, asking if online content creation counts as a form of art. They were happy to accept me as their resident writer. Once I arrived, I had a meeting with Michelle, the national director, about the best way to use my volunteer time. Their website blog had become a little neglected, she said. I loved the idea of helping bring it back to life. By the end of my three month stay, I had five new posts published on the blog. […]

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