Raising Funds for Bolivian Amazon School Children

*EDIT: Fundraiser was a success and is not closed. Thank you to everyone who generously participated.

Please visit my gofundme page to help out! gofundme.com/getlostandbefoundAlong my travels I have been searching for ways to vollunteer and help local communities, particularly here in Bolivia.  Bolivia is an incredible country filled with beautiful landscapes, natural recources and a vast array of climates.

While here, I have had the privilage of spending a month in the Amazon rainforest getting to know the Indiginous people in the Beni region (specifically the native Tacana people).

These are beautiful people who live a very different lifestyle than what most of us westerners are accustomed to.  They live in the jungle. These people have little or no money.  Money is of no importance in their community.  They live off of the land, hunting, gathering, and farming their meals.  They trade their goods with other families, or simply just share.  They sleep outdoors under covered tree huts on matts made from woven plant materials.  The most important tool they have is not a computer, but a machete.  The only running water in this community is the river in which they live off of, drink from, bathe, wash clothing, and fish for meals.

The Bolivian government requires that all Bolivian children, including the natives attend school.  Everyone agrees that this is positive thing.  Literacy rates in these communities are low.  However, the children need help.  To attend school they need clothing, and the temporary garments made from plant materials in the jungle are not permitted.  Families have little or no money to buy clothing for the children, and even if they have money, the nearest stores are extremely far away from their communities.  The schools in these communities are also terribly underfunded.  The schools need books and school supplies.

So here is my plan… While I continue my travels in South America over the next month or two, I am going to raise money from anyone who wants to help these kids.  The money I raise will all be used to buy clothing, books, pencils and other school supplies for the children in the Indiginous Beni communities.  The additional funds will cover my travel expenses for returning to these communities at the end of my travels with the purchased supplies for the children.  All the supplies have to be bought in other cities that are plane rides away, because the closest local towns have very little.  The clothing and supplies will all be brought directly to the schools that are deep in the Bolivian Amazon.

According to adults who grew up in these communities (some literate, and some not) any and all gifts to help the children are always welcomed, and needed.

This is a community that has welcomed me and taught me so much about the world outside of my personal bubble, and most importantly about myself.  I am really happy to have an opportunity to do a small something to give back to the people in this region and say thank you.

Any donation you make, even a few dollars can have a significant impact in the life of these kids.  The ability to read and write will allow them many more opportunities and an easier life in the future, particularly when they reach the age where they are required to join the military and become exposed to other lifestyles.  Something as simple as having a pencil and notebook is something we probably took for granted when we were children in school, but for these kids it’s a big deal!

I thank you for your help, and the Bolivian Indiginous community thanks you!

Please visit my gofundme page to help out! gofundme.com/getlostandbefound  If you can’t donate a few dollars, you can help by spreading the word! Share my link on your facebook, twitter, or email your friends and family!

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