Global Studies Program
Bolivia 2000

Landing in La Paz (11/21-23)--After traveling since 3pm the previous afternoon, our arrival at 7:40am in the capital city of La Paz left us exhausted and a little grumpy. We spent the first two days acclimating to the high altitude and the bustle of the city, and the onslaught of Spanish (not to mention tooth-brushing with bottled water, no fresh salads, electrifying showers...).
Student Reflections: Amy McClintic; Claudia Segovia-Salcedo
; Inna Birchenko

Coroico: Montane Cloud Forest (11/24-29)--This hair-raising bus drive east over the high Andes and down the infamous Coroico Road left us speechless. The incredible hacienda hanging off the mountain slope at Hostal Kory, with its spectacular daily vista, was a great first "home base".  This mid-elevation region was our first introduction to some tropical plant families and the sheet-like marine red alga Hildenbrandia (growing in freshwater streams!).
Student Reflections: Lorena Brown

Day Trips to Unduavi/Chuspipata: "Paramo" Forest and Puna (11/30-12/2)--Lodging in La Paz by night, we made daily bus trips eastward, through the frigid high mountain pass of La Cumbre to reach different paramo-like forest sites and puna sites, where we studied high-elevation plants, sampled algae and violet populations, and made faces at the llamas. Dr. Stephan Beck, Director of the National Herbarium, provided us a guest "field lecture" during one of our day trips.
Student Reflections: David May

Sorata: Moist Puna (12/4-8)--A several hour drive led us to the village of Sorata, nestled deep in a valley of the northern Bolivian Andes. Lodging at the Residencial Sorata, where our rooms opened out onto a huge, diverse garden, we made daily truck trips up into the highlands for algae and pincushion violets. One work day in the puna above a striking "paramo"-puna transition was cut short by a flash hailstorm. We suffered a cramped truck bed under a leaky tarp by sharing chocolate, cookies and 3 flavors of Pringles potato chips.
Student Reflections: Bryan Rayo; Amanda Habel

Copacabana: Dry Puna (12/9-10)--Chaos reigned supreme in getting our rooming situation settled at the Hotel Ambassador. The highlights of our brief stay in this pretty lakeside village were boat trips to the Isles of the Sun and Moon to see remnants of the Incan culture, and the delicious lake trout. On our drive back to La Paz, we discovered (and studied) a site where two pincushion violets were hybridizing. So exciting!
Student Reflections: Aurea Cortes; Jeremy McKinney; Angelo Giallombardo

Wrap up in La Paz (12/11-12)--We finished our research collaborations with the National Herbarium folks who helped make the trip run smoothly, did our last flurry of shopping for those essential souvenirs (or gifts to ourselves), and prepared for our return home.

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