Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 13 September 2008


To sum it up: all is not well in Bolivia.

This past week has seen a lot of violence, protesting, roadblocking and diplomatic tension.

The US Ambassador was asked by President Morales to leave the country. There are 14 deaths accounted for in the northern department of Pando. A major natural gas pipeline has exploded. Gas and food are in short supply in major cities due to all the roadblocks and general unrest.

I am perfectly safe. Confused. Upset. Hoping that Bolivia finds a way to pick up the pieces of these conflicts in the near future.

I am not prepared to face the possibility of leaving this place. So, I ask of all you readers to think good thoughts about Bolivia. Read up if you are interested.

Also the NYTimes and the Washington Post have both recently posted articles. I don’t have the links available right now, but simple searching should do the trick.

Please don’t worry about me. All the volunteers are safe and accounted for. We are all just anxiously awaiting more news. Hopefully it will be good. I believe in this country. I believe that, despite all the separatist rhetoric, Bolivians do not want to see their beloved, rugged, beautiful country ravaged by Civil War. I have to believe that because there are so many people that I love here. In a mere 7 months, I have fallen hard for this place. Even though it frustrates me to no end some days, I love this place. I love these people. And I have laid awake the last 3 nights hoping to wake up to a more familiar, peaceful version of the Bolivia I have come to regard as home…



  1. Hey Helen,

    Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and everyone in Bolivia! Thank you for the update and know that although physically a bunch of countries separate us you’re always in my thoughts!

    Love you!

  2. Hi Helen,
    Your mom emailed that you were evacuated to Lima, Peru. Yikes, how quickly the world can change. I enjoyed seeing your vacation picures from Beni. I am thinking of you and sending you good thoughts on whatever the next step may be. Rest up. Each morning the world is created all over again with you in it. Take care.

  3. Hello Helen,
    Are you a peace Corps Volunteer? I’ve been watching the news sadly…Yes it is an amazing country, and it does get under your skin…

    I hope it ends soon for all of you and that you can get back to work…

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