New Year and our 6th country to date, we arrived in La Paz to meet our contact at the SOS head office, Yecid Arce, who helped us organise all the Bolivian visits. First stop, Cochabamba, where we were helped by a rotary contact, Carlo Martin, who invited us to visit Dr. Romero at the Hospital de Ninos Quemados, where they treat children with burns. We entertained them with balloons to help cheer them up.

Next stop, SOS village Tiquipaya, where we were looked after by Rolando. Onto Oruro, where we made it just in time after discovering buses are always two hours later than predicted. From Oruro to Sucre, Sucre to Potosi, long bus journeys along mountain passes with no barriers and 300 metre sheer drops. It was worth it to see the kids’ faces light up.

Our last two – Tarija, set in the hills of the wine region which might possibly be my favorite place where the lovely Monica showed us around and made sure we got all our transport. On the way to Santa Cruz, we got stuck in a farmers blockade, where they were throwing firebombs at us and it took us 30 hours and 3 buses to go back the way we had come. We finally arrived at Santa Cruz where we were luckily picked up by the Director and taken for special Bolivian snacks and coffee.

What an epic journey – so you see, we really do use all of your donations frugally. All the funding goes towards long distance buses, local transport and budget accommodation.

All of South American SOS villages have been so generous, inviting us to stay, and looking after us the whole way around.  I am so proud that we have been the first circus workshops for all of them to experience in all three countries. Now as I understand it, we have paved the way for Cirque de Soleil, who are starting a new project, doing shows with the SOS villages.


About the Author:

Jenny, Founder of Balloon Circus trained as an actor and fell in love with circus performance and street art from meeting other performers who sparked an interest in alternative entertainment, which is loved by adults and children alike. After 20 years working with children and much performance experience as a entertainer specializing in fire shows, stilt walking, human statues and walkabout she found a niche in balloon modelling.