Horse party!

So in 1 week I have already found the most amazing place in a valley called Jupapina on the outskirts of La Paz where they have a charity that uses horses for therapy for children with disabilities. 

In Bolivia there is still so much stigma around disabilities in adults and children and often parents have to give up a lot more than just jobs to care for these boys and girls. 

On Sunday we went to Jupapina and met a wonderful lady called Emma who moved to Bolivia 18 years ago and set up a charity called ‘up close bolivia’ which has started or been involved in a lot of charitable foundations over that time. 

The horse therapy charity involvement came about by luck when their neighbour Umberto bought a load of horses with the dream to use them to help disabled children and their parents have a fun and interactive time free from discrimination with the end goal being 10 weeks of Physio and horse therapy and respite for the patents. As well as allowing them to meet people in similar situations as an external support network which they can continue once the term of horse therapy is completed. 

And to top it off as well as getting to work with these lovely people at the weekend. Umberto has been kind enough to let me ride the ponies in the week. So I’m teaming up with ‘up close bolivias’ wonderful horse volunteer coordinator Mary to try to bring on and improve some of the ground and ridden understanding of these lovely ponies to help them be relaxed, calm and happy for the riding therapy sessions at the weekends. So I am currently trying to bring on and learn with a lovely 5yo grey called Diana who I’m sure I’ll be talking about soon enough as she’s so smart and learns so quickly she is lovely to spend time with. 

So thanks to Emma, Mary, Umberto and ‘up close Bolivia’ I have really landed on my pony loving feet while I’m here! 



Bolivia’s innovative public transport is fab! 

We spent Friday and Saturday exploring the local and further away neighbourhoods in La Paz only to discover that the Bolivians have the most ingenious public transport system ever! 

They have a network of cable cars called the teleferico where you can get around the city and outside of it for 30p a trip. 

People use it for their daily commute. It had the most breathtaking views and feels like a tourist adventure but a minuscule of the price. 
We met a lovely grandma on one of the trips who paused from giving her husband a telling off to tell us how to be safe around the city and how to look after ourselves as we were tourists. She wished us a good trip during our time here in Bolivia. She was pretty immense. 


Bienvenida La Paz

We’ve made it to La Paz with the most breathtaking views from the plane as we landed. 


Met a lovely taxi driver who told us all about the local delicacies (soup with chicken and pork, empanadas, chillies in rice) where the best produce markets are (Al Alto if you’re interested?) took us through the market so we could see what it was all about, then we began the road descent into La Paz from the airport (highest in the world at 12,000ft!). 
 Wow!! What a view! The city is gigantic he said it is home to  over 5 million people and it certainly looked massive. 
We’ve got to and settled in the appartment and it is absolutely lovely. Brand new build and in a safe area. We’ve already been to the local shops and got out of breath carrying the bits back up the hill! Perhaps we’ll get super fit living on the side of a steep hill with no oxygen! 


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