Bolivia has the lowest GDP in South America with over 60% of its inhabitants living bellow the poverty line. Many people are scared to visit or holiday there for this reason. I am here to say that you must not let this put you off. By travelling in Bolivia you will generate revenue for the citizens, create jobs and a demand for services (restaurants, hostels, hotels, tour guides etc.) The fact that Bolivia is not very tourist means it is a cheap holiday. As a visitor in Bolivia, you are not in danger, people want you to be there so you can spend money in their country.
You can help by flying there at your own accord and spending money in the area – avoid big tour companies and pay locals to show you around, spend your dollar at the crazy markets (maybe stay away from the witch craft and stuffed lamb stalls, or indeed if that’s your thing – go for it, but you may not get your purchases through customs on your way home.)
I really enjoyed my home stay on an island in Lake Titicaca, while there I stayed with a family helped them with there farming and kitchen duties.
I spent money on the island for boat rides, Baileys hot chocolates and food. A win win situation for everyone involved. On your journey by boat across the bright blue lake make sure to ask your boat driver if they can stop momentarily for you to jump in the clear lake. Someone gave me this advice and before too long I was leaping into the freezing cold lake. As I hit the water my entire body shock, I cannot explain the coldness, it was so refreshing and definitely recommended.
Stay tuned for my next blog on how to survive Death Road in Bolivia.