Unrest in Bolivia and Deciding to Leave

She drove us back to the volunteer houses, where we stayed put for the night.

Just before bed, Emma and Rolando gathered all of the volunteers in the Green House for a meeting. Emma explained that while everything and everyone seemed tranquilo (calm) in Jupapina, there was still so much uncertainty throughout the country. What made this uprising different and thus so difficult to predict, she explained, was the fact that the Bolivian people were now divided. In the past, it had been exactly the opposite: the people had always been more or less united against the government. Emma told us that she would let us know as soon as possible if the projects would be up-and-running again the next day, but that for now, we should plan on things being “business as usual” in the morning.

The next morning, Josh and I woke up early and got ready to teach our classes, but we didn't hear from Emma for another few hours. Just before 9:00 A.M., Emma came down to the Green House to tell us that there would be no projects or no classes that day. Things were changing rapidly now, and Emma wanted us all to meet again in an hour. Minutes before that meeting, Emma messaged all of the volunteers to ask for our departure details and plans for leaving Bolivia. Josh and I had plans to leave Up Close in two weeks and travel a bit in Bolivia before heading to Argentina. Since things had begun to drastically change, we came up with a back-up plan: to take a direct bus from La Paz to Peru. From there, we could continue on to Chile and eventually Argentina. Most of the other volunteers had similar plans to leave within the next few weeks and to travel by land to Peru.