Where to Eat Great Ecological Food in Argentina

Ecological Food at Cadonga, Central Argentina (©photocoen)Beautifully located amidst the green undulating hills of the Sierras Chicas in Córdoba Province, Candonga was one of our surprises when traveling in central Argentina. Our friend Agustín, at whose nearby estancia we were camped for some a couple of months, invited us on a day trip. “I want to share something with you,” was all he gave away. Continue reading

How Can Birds Remind You of the Airlift in Berlin?

Fishermen in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador (©photocoen)I can’t remember the name of the book but it was a fiction novel about Germany right after the war. In high school, World War II had been a major topic in our history classes so I thought I knew quite a bit about it, yet when reading this novel a couple of years later, it was the first time I heard about the Airlift in Berlin. Continue reading

Peru’s Best Ice Cream, Produced by Deaf People – Meet Heladería Holanda in Cajamarca

Peru's best ice-cream - Heladería Holanda, Cajamarca (©photocoen)Several travelers and locals had mentioned it to us: Heladería Holanda, an ice cream parlor in Cajamarca. Since the owner is Dutch, and so are Coen and I, it made sense to visit it when in Cajamarca – what is it about wanting to connect with your countrymen when abroad? Continue reading

Sharing Traditional Bolivian Dishes – What Can I Contribute?

Eating with your fingers is the way to go (©Coen Wubbels)

Eating with your fingers is the way to go (©Coen Wubbels)

During Coen’s photography assignment for evrevrijde Wereld, a Belgium NGO that supports agricultural projects with a focus on food security, we visited various rural communities in Bolivia. One of the aspects I loved most during these meetings was lunch as it was a great way to taste Bolivia’s traditional dishes.

After a meeting, which included checking out new vegetable gardens or irrigation systems, we would return to the community center, which most rural villages in Bolivia have, for lunch. According to tradition each woman brought her share and the dishes were shared. Sometimes they laid a table and put out chairs or benches, but that was only because they had visitors. The common practice was to have a picnic on the ground. Most dishes consisted of potatoes, corn and rice and so I thought about contributing something they were unfamiliar with. Would they appreciate it? Continue reading

Women Empowerment in Bolivia – a Yoghurt Factory

Doña Edelfrida daily walks 5 kms to the yoghurt factory to deliver 40 liters of milk (©Coen Wubbels)

Doña Edelfrida daily walks 5 kms to the yoghurt factory to deliver 40 liters of milk (©Coen Wubbels)

Edited to add Aug 2017: Bevrijde Wereld changed its name and is now called Solidagro.

During Coen’s photography assignment for Bevrijde Wereld (locally called Mundo Nuevo), a Belgian NGO that supports agricultural projects with the emphasis on food safety, we visited a project focusing on women empowerment: a yoghurt factory in Koari, central Bolivia.

INCCA is one of Bevrijde Wereld’s partner organizations in Bolivia and the yoghurt factory was one of their successful projects. Soon after the start of the yoghurt factory, the women were given the opportunity to sell yoghurt to schools in Tiraque (near Cochabamba), where it would be part of the school breakfast, which meant a weekly production of 14,000 bags with 100 mls of yoghurt. How did they manage?

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Women’s Opinions Didn’t Count – Planting Trees in Bolivia

During Coen’s photography assignment for Bevrijde Wereld, a Belgian NGO that supports agricultural projects with a focus on food safety, we visited various rural communities in Bolivia. In the village of Kolga Koya each household received six fruit trees and was instructed on how to plant and maintain them.

Planting trees? You dig a hole, put in the tree, close the hole and water the tree, right? Or is it not that simple? Continue reading

Salteñas, Almuerzos, Chicha – Typical Food & Beverages in Bolivia

Pastel – fried pastry with cheese.

The Bolivian cuisine is not as diverse as its landscape. Even though there are regional variations between the lowlands and Andes Mountains, traditional Bolivian meals are mainly a result of versatility in the use of the country’s staple food of potatoes, corn and rice.

Having said that, we do like Bolivian food and would say is most certainly worth a try when visiting the country. After all, food is not only fundamental, but also a way to learn something about a country’s history and geography, as well as its daily life.

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Bolivia’s Main Meal of the Day: Lunch, or Almuerzo

Soup is an essential part of Bolivia’s ‘almuerzo’.

Every day – roughly between twelve and two thirty – part of Bolivia closes down. It’s lunchtime. For everyone. Within minutes local restaurants are packed and waiters are serving customers as fast as possible. We daily join the crowds to have a taste of Bolivia’s simplest yet most plentiful meal: almuerzo. It is the perfect way to get a feel for Bolivia’s traditional food. Note that the food discussed in this blog post is focused on the highland (altiplano). Continue reading

El Cafetal’s Coffee Plantation

Young Coffee Plants (©Coen Wubbels)

Bolivia is one of the world’s producers of Arabica coffee. While the Yungas (north of La Paz) is Bolivia’s traditional and principal coffee growing region, the country’s largest exporter is situated in the department of Santa Cruz – in Buena Vista, to be exact. A friend suggested to check out Hacienda El Cafetal, to visit the coffee plantation and factory and, of course, to taste some high-quality, organic coffee. Continue reading

Fresh Mint Tea with Mint Leaves from the Garden

For the past couple of weeks we stayed with friends in Cochabamba (Bolivia), who have a beautiful garden. Gardening is something I miss in our life on the road and I loved getting my hands in that soil again. Most of all, I have always appreciated vegetable gardens. I used to have my own and took great pleasure in harvesting my vegetables, fruits and herbs. Continue reading

An Act of Kindness (Day 7): Serving an Egg!

One of the restaurants in Bolivia where we had lunch

This is day 7 in the 30-day series “An Act of Kindness by a Stranger”. We have stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant in eastern Bolivia.

The owner asks what I’d like to have. I can choose between costilla frita and milanesa. I ask if I can have the milanesa without the milanesa, if she understands what I mean. We arrived in Bolivia only a couple of days ago and after two years of speaking Portuguese, English, French and Dutch I have to dig deep to find any Spanish word at all, and am not sure if my question makes sense. Continue reading