A year after the end of my fieldwork in the Cancha, I return to Bolivia for
the summer. During the course of the intervening year I have remained in
contact with Nacho and other close friends in Cochabamba. Via e- mail and
Skype, Nacho has kept me updated on the doings of Don Silvio and Don
Rafo and of their organizations. On my return, I hope to catch up on the
events of the past year and to see what progress, if any, the fijos and the
ambulantes have made toward greater security and stability in their work,
their families, and their lives. I am especially eager to see whether the books
I wrote and published have had any impact on those struggles.
Although my research is largely complete, I still feel a commitment to
the groups with whom I worked and continue to imagine ways to remain
engaged with them. To that end, I have spent the past year designing an in-
ternational ser vice learning program for undergraduates and am now lead-
ing the first group of students to “the field.” They will spend the summer
studying Spanish and Quechua, learning the techniques of anthropological
field research, and implementing those techniques through their own re-
search projects.1 Most significant, the students will be engaging in commu-
nity ser vice work alongside Bolivian people. I assign most of the students to
work in the barrios where I have previously conducted fieldwork, but I place
one group with the ambulantes. The exact nature of their project, like those
of the other groups, will be determined in collaboration with the Bolivians
Previous Page Next Page