Issue - June 2007

June 2007

This month's issue: Dual Tourism. Bolivian Theatre. More from the Museum of Archaeology. The Peace Corps in Bolivia and many others! Read on and familiarize yourself with some of Cochabamba's happenings! Do not forget...we enjoy recieving feedback from our please write to us and share your comments with us and the rest of Cochabamba! more...

June 2007

Making a show of Bolivian life

For ten years now Hecho a Mano has been bringing tales of Bolivian life to the stage.

By : Lamin Kamara
Journalism volunteer, Projects Abroad
Essex, England
Tania Delamotte
Journalism volunteer, Projects Abroad
Paris, France

The students of Hecho a Mano are not only formed to be comedians but, depending on their interests, they can end up as, teachers, scriptwriters, directors, and more. Theatre performances are mainly seen as a hobby as it is difficult to make a living out of it, but this company remains professional. Most of the students have other professions or studies, or are dedicated to theatre. As an educational group they are dedicated to raising awarness of social issues, along with the people from San Simon University´s musical group, Tuna de la Alegría. The school admits students from age eight, in a school of 68 students who attend evenings and weekends.

There are six teaching levels at Hecho a Mano, and every student begins at level one. In order to progress to the second level, where soral narration and scenic interpretation is taught, students must present an existing piece. Level three involves learning to write plays, and direct them. Levels four through six involve learning techniques like street theatre and clown theatre. Achieving all six levels takes three years. Occasionally, those who have completed the course become teachers themselves - two girls within the group recently to created their own company, Exilio Teatro.

Hecho a Mano celebrated its eleventh birthday this April, marking the beginning of its second decade working to bring stories about the reality of Bolivian life to society through theatre - with audiences growing every year. In turn, the school turns out a new piece every three weeks, and puts on a show each weekend. Students also enjoy receiving guest colleagues from different parts of South America.

As those at Hecho a Mano concede, it is undeniable that theatre is still considered by many an elite activity, for students as well as for the public - with appropriate fees for students - but the school offers help to those who want to enroll by assisting with grants, which today helps 20% of students there. For the public, the theatre keeps admission prices low, charging just ten bolivianos per ticket. As Pamela Gutierrez Tercera, administrating director of the theatre says: “The theatre should not be a privilege, but rather, a necessity”.

The Guacharo Birds Canyon
It is now recognized that our community must work to conserve bio-diversity. Bolivia cannot fail to awaken the interests of visitors to discover this countrys amazing natural, cultural and rich bio-diversity resources...
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