During May and June of 2010, Anne Martin spent six weeks living and working in La Paz, Bolivia. Along with eight other students, Anne traveled to Bolivia as part of a Humanitarian Design program that hoped work with the various groups of Shoe-Shiners working in the streets of La Paz. Throughout her time in Bolivia, Anne worked with the other students to research the lives of the Shoe-Shiners, attempting to understand their internal group structures and dynamics in order to initiate a sensitive and effective conversation with them concerning their vocation. The ultimate hope was to work with the Shoe-Shiners to implement small but strategic interventions to increase the productivity of their work. Anne and her group worked with Bolivian organizations to gather around fifteen Shoe-Shiners that met on a weekly basis to develop ideas for innovation. During the remainder of the week, Anne observed and interacted with a group of child and youth workers through interviews and conversations. Anne also interviewed several people in the government positions that were responsible for employing the children and youth in hopes to gain an understanding of how these children and youth were positioned within Bolivian society. In the second part of the trip, Anne worked on developing and constructing a series of prototypes for an overgrown garden space at a local hospital for children with physical disabilities. Anne and two other members of her group worked to clear the space and set up first stages or suggestions of therapeutic objects that could be placed in the space. Because Anne and her group left before the space was finished, she is continuing to work with her professor and friends in Bolivia to finish the space. Though Anne’s classes were very informal and largely project-based, her group’s projects were exhibited in a gallery space in one of Bolivia’s largest museums directly next to Frida Khalo’s work! In addition to the academics and projects, Anne traveled with her group to three beautiful locations in Bolivia, Corioco, Copacabana, and Sorata, where she spent time hiking, swimming in Lake Titicaca, traveling on boats, riding in open-backed trucks on mountain roads, and exploring the hilly Bolivian towns.
CEE Title: Nature's Best Medicine- Nutrition Workshops