Sucre is only 3.5 by bus away from Potosi, lower elevation from Potosi at 3000m. Originally we didn´t plan to go there but we heard that it is a beautiful colonial city and was the former capital of Bolivia. Plus there are a lot of outdoor activities that can be done around Sucre.
Arriving in Sucre, we were a bit disappointed. The city seemed more dirty and crowded than Potosi. When we asked about outdoors activities, it seems like the hiking, biking, or horseriding were all not possible for children.
Then it all changed...we love Sucre! Why? The hostel Charcas that we stayed was right across from the central Market. In the morning, Jonathan went to the market to have a look while children were still asleep. He came back with a large smile - you will love this market! We all rushed over and indeed it is a paradise of soup, meal, fruit, drinks, and desserts at prices lower than anywhere else we´ve been.
Given that there was little else we could do since that children couldn´t go to the outdoors activities, we dedicated the entire day to eating, homeschooling, and catching up with our trip journal.
For breakfast, lunch, and dinner we had 4-5 course meals by jumping from food stall to food stall. For example, for breakfast, we would first have some hot, mushy maize drinks (1.5B or USD 20 cents) at the breakfast stand. Then we would go to the soup stand for a noodle soup with meat, vegetables, and potatoes (2.5B or USD 33 cents). Then we would go to the youghert stand for some peach and other flavored youghert (1B or USD 13 cents). Then we would go to the fruit stand for several cups of juice smoothies (2.5B or USD 33 cents) and fruit salad with 7 types of fruit with youghert and whipping cream (4B or USD 55 cents). The best thing about fruit smoothie in Colombia is that you get refill for free. Just say ´Yapa´ and automatically you get another one. Ahh...after only three meals, we had 12 different types of juice smoothies, such as coconut, kiwi, brazilian nuts, almond, mango, cactus fruit, carrot, alfafa sprout, egg with malted beer, melon, passion fruit-like fruit, cherimoya, etc.
For lunch and dinner we would have, in addition to of course the juices and soup, hamburgers stuffed with fries (3B, USD 40 cents), medium size pizza (6B, 80 cents), Mondogo (7B, 90 cents USD), rice with either chicken or beef, and many other dishes. We would finish off with 3-scoop ice cream cone (1.5B, USD 20 cents).
WATCHING THE ¨Devil´s Miners¨
After going to the silver mine is Potosi, we were interested to watch a documentry called Devil´s Miners, which is about the story of a 14 year-old boy who worked in the silver mine of Potosi for 4 years. It was shown in the Joy Ride Cafe 7PM on the night th at we got to Sucre.
The movie was very powerful and made me and the children think about a lot of things. It was especially vivid since the day before we went to the mine ourselves.
The movie touched me in the following ways:
1) The miners believed in two Gods - the Christian God who ruled everywhere else except the Cerro Rico, inside the mine and Tio who ruled inside the mine only. They believed God locked Tio underground so Tio can´t go out. But inside the mine, Tio can either harm them or not to hurt them. It´s sad to see how they are not able to overcome their fear and recognized that God is ruler of all, both above and below. However, we are often like that too! Where in certain area or sitution, we feel we need to depend on ourselves or on something else. It´s a reminder for all of us that we need to break free of that fear and believe in God in all things. We also need to pray for these miners that they can break free of this bondage.
2) A child without father is a very vulnerable child. In the documentary, the boy lost his father when he was 2. Therefore, his mother and sibling moved to the mine to find way to live. So at the age of 10 he had to start working in the mine and to provide for the family. He also could go to school only half day because he has to continue to live there. The mine boss also know it is not good for children to work there, but the boy had no choice because there is not a father to provide for the family. It reminded me the importance of the work we are doing in WV when we worked with the street children and orphans in rural areas. There are many vulnerable children in Bolivia, in China, and around the world. God loves them and we should love them too!
3) The innocence of a child. Despite their harsh working and living condition, they find ways to have fun whether by playing football, buy clothes for school, preparing for the annual carnival, etc. A child´s innocent and fun loving spirit is so important that we need to nurture them and not to smother them. It´s part of what it means to be a child and that also is important for adults to not abandon. A child ´s hope for the future is also important. The thought of becoming a teacher was the 14 year old´s dream. That´s why despite his long work day, he doesn´t want to give up school. We all need hope to continue, especially our hope in Christ and in our eternal life.
We bought the documentary in Sucre for 10B. If anyone wants to watch it, just let us know.
1) There were about 3-4 bus companies that have buses to Sucre from Potosi. Due to it being Sunday, only two were open and we just picked one with the most convenient departure at 11:15AM. The rides takes 3.5 hours and costed 20B per seat. Joani sat on our lap.
2) At first, we wanted to stay at Casa de Huespedes San Marco but it was full (30B per bed and looks like a clean option) . Then after looking at 5 other hostels, we felt Hostel Charcas was the best compromise between cost and comfort (40B per bed, we bargained for 120B for 4 beds w/o bathroom for the family). One very nice looking hostel we saw but was a bit more expensive was Hostel San Francisco (150B for 3 beds with bathroom).
3)Joy Ride Cafe is a very good place for food and for tours. www.joyridebol.com. It also shows good movie every night for 10B. Unfortunately, the horseback tour they had didn´t allow for children. Otherwise, their tour seems quite professional.