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Glimmer of Hope

Glimmer of Hope

I accompanied the mother and son captured in this image, on a tour of their new community in La Chiquitania, a region in eastern Bolivia within the Amazonian watershed and close to the border with Brazil. The adults described for us, their motivation to move their existing village to a location more easily accessible by road and closer to markets for their agricultural products.

The new community was under construction by the villagers themselves, using materials available locally. With the exception of the school, for which they were receiving some financial assistance, family dwellings and communal structures are built with sun-baked, mud-bricks and lumber from the cleared land, as well as palm leaves for thatched roofs.

By our standards, progress appeared to be slow, but time has a different meaning when one?s life is guided by the natural rhythms of the seasons and whether and the harvest. Still, with all this effort, it would cut down their travel time, primarily on foot, to only three to four hours in each direction? to harvest Cusi nuts and Copaibo oil, but none-the-less closer to a road with vehicular traffic and? electricity.

As I listened to their hopes and dreams, I couldn?t help but be moved by the awareness that the parents held, to by what-ever-means-necessary, find new sources of income to squirrel away, with which to provide their children with a Post Secondary education. The contrast between the mother’s stoic gaze, and gleam in the young boy?s hopeful eyes, were powerful reminders of the love of a parent.

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