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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ICS Blog- Bolivia by Brandon Fletcher James

We are now coming to the 8th week since my friends and I travelled from United Kingdom to the vibrancy and uniqueness of Bolivia; taking in the sights, South American culture and in particular experiencing the demands of working in the bustling metropolitan scene that is La Paz. Our project Cuidadanos Del Mundo (which although at first had some difficulty in starting up) primarily started by engaging in discussions concerning the definition and brainstorming of such broad themes such as human rights, environmental conservation. This then led onto more focused discussions whereby we selected and developed research and subsequent worksh

op planning centred on specific subtopics such as the promotion of the LGBT community and various environmental campaigns raising awareness of noise pollution and the benefits of recycling.
I and others were given the task of researching and creating for example surveys in order to obtain qualitative data directly from the population of La Paz, compiling information about people’s overall opinion about such issues as the air pollution caused by the annual San Juan festivities, or for example the public’s attitude towards the LGBT community and the attempts of such organisations as Adesproc in working towards the amalgamation of an equal family law (whereby individuals from the LGBT community- lesbian, trans, bisexual, gay can have constitutionally the legally shrined right to have a family, irrespective of sexual orientation). This gained particular impetus when we began to collaborate with the CDC and have at such presented specific plans in order to particularly aid the forwarding of the ADFC. In such meetings we were given the opportunity to listen to key speakers from a variety of focus groups which promote LGBT rights and to ask questions regarding the social and political status of La Paz.  
In addition my teammates and I engaged in such events as a recycling promotion campaign organized in Plaza Camacho, whereby we displayed facts and information regarding the refuse and recycling of paper and plastic and the negative impacts caused in using landfill sites rather than greener methods. This was given to the public in the form of activities such as painting recycled plastic bottles and further utilising such to plant seeds, second to this were various Origami activities in order to upcycle paper into fun items such as hats or paper animals. The public seemed very concerned about the global environmental welfare and it was a great success for a chance to facilitate the interest and doubts of the public about the topic of recycling.
Prior to such we had also created a mural in a local school opposite Hospital Obrero in Miraflores, which instilled the messages of noise pollution, respect and the importance of literacy and reading in incorporating drawings of zebras incite and inspire the young people. Further to such we are continuing our collaboration with the local agricultural organization Fundacion Alternativa, in supporting local arms of families who produce crops and ecological goods in Buenos Aires. Such activities include exporting soil, planting flower beds and general maintenance of the earth and plants.

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