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Food on Mission


Nate writes:

Here is a photo of our weekly food consumption for one week.


FMS supports us with a monthly stipend that compares closely to the minimum wage of an average “official” work sector job of a Bolivian. And it’s worth noting that the majority of Bolivians work some where within the bounds of an unofficial economy i.e. black market goods, service jobs etc, meaning they could be making much less than the minimum wage.

But I’d like to share with FMS blog readers what it looks like eat on the minimum wage salary while living out in rural Bolivia.

We shop once a week and try to stock up to avoid extra trips to town, which is 30 minutes away from where we live on campus. Luckily we have a nice fridge and freezer to stock up for the week (most Bolivians have neither).


In the photos you’ll see a meal we cooked with some good friends called “Pique Macho.”  It’s marinated beef, sausages, hard boiled eggs, green peppers, and french fries, and it’s so delicious.

We cook everything from scratch. There’s no other option! There are no processed foods available in the markets in Coroico. Mary and I have always loved cooking and do mostly everything from scratch, but the freshness and wide range of produce goodies at the markets makes cooking in a Bolivia a true pleasure.

The two other images are photos taken right after a shopping trip to town.
Foods seen in the pictures are
green beans
broad beans
green peppers
potato crackers
local wine
milk in a bag
local coffee from a womens cooperative
granadillos – mini pomegranates
tunas – juicy and seedy cactus fruits
homemade biscuits

Mary and Nate recently returned from two years of mission at the rural Carmen Pampa University in Bolivia.

Nate, the youngest son of nine, hails from La Cross, Wisconsin. Mary grew up picking strawberries in small-town Minnesota. The couple met at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, where Mary studied sociology and outdoor leadership and Nate studied Spanish and geology. They share a passion for food and bicycling, and a desire to set their marriage on a foundation of service, simplicity, and a deeper global understanding.