Home / Stories / New Series – Culture and Travel in Bolivia Part 1

New Series – Culture and Travel in Bolivia Part 1

series_featured_mountains copy

Editor’s Note: Second-year missioner Nate Mortenson currently serves as a teacher and head of the English department at Unidad Carmen Pampa in Bolivia. In alignment with our “Comfort and Joy” Advent/Christmas blog series, today launches a special three part series in which we share some of the work from students in his class. 

Every day my English class students bring something new and unexpected to my life on mission at University of Carmen Pampa.

Lately I’ve been looking for ways to expand their writing skills but also share some of their life experience with a greater audience. Our most recent unit in class was focused on learning how to use the Simple Past tense. I took the opportunity to have my students share a little bit about their personal experiences in a blog post format with the objective of posting these stories to an international English speaking audience, to help my students use their English skills in a different application than they would in ordinary life in Bolivia. Many of the students have never seen or used a blog format website before, mainly because internet access is so limited and it would be impossible to browse the web the way we might be familiar with as internet users in the United States.

These stories are either personal story blog entries, or travel blog entries. I hope you enjoy my English students’ writing and are able to experience a sample of what my students share with me in the classroom on a daily basis.


My Family Camping Trip

By Bernabe Quispe Cupary

bernabe family pic

The trip began on a Sunday in December 2010. It was the school holidays. We went to Rurrenabaque, Bení, to go camping in the cabins called “The Falls”.

Then we went to ride in a boat with a guide, and we observed animals and birds. The ride was very beautiful, and then later we went to swim in the river.

The next day in the morning we went fishing, then my mother cooked fish and we ate it with rice y cassava. Those days on vacation were the best day with my family. We also met other people on vacation with whom we played ball and other sports.

camping copy

It was a weekend to remember. Those beautiful mountains and experiences we will never forget.


The Feast of All Saints

By Edwin Quispe

The feast of All Saints is held every November 2. Each family celebrates the holiday by baking varieties of homemade breads and treats which are used as an offering to the dead relatives and family members of each household.

It is a custom that is done by all those who lost a loved one.

These baked goods and treats are distributed among the friends and neighbors but also are taken to the cemeteries where the people pray for the deceased to receive these gifts.

As a symbol of our thanks-giving the people who pray for the deceased family members also receive the baked goods and treats.

This is a story about the customs that Bolivia has which is known throughout the entire country.

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.