Bolivia is land locked in South America, bordered by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru. It is the poorest country in South America. Bolivia is predominantly historic in their traditions and beliefs, as their beliefs align with the Catholic faith and traditions are maintained generationally and the lack of education throughout the entire system is pervassive. The government is charmingly backwards, but unfortunately does not allow progressive opportunities for the people of the country.

The lack of a basis of education throughout the country has slowed the progress for Bolivia to thrive as a modern capital market. Education leads to communication and awareness, the ability to navigate in our world. Bolivian children are trapped in the cycle of poverty, dropping out of school and assisting in family fiscal success, simply to survive.

The school system in Bolivia includes a primary schooling, parallel to Pre School and elementary school, and a secondary schooling, parallel to middle school and high school. The Foundation of Sustainable Development (FSD) claims one in seven children do not even complete primary school.

FSD illustrates two pivotal factors contributing to the incompletion of school: proficiency of their native tongue – in Bolivia, this includes Quechua or Aymara, not Castallano, the national language – and inability to pay the bill. According to the World Bank, of the 10.67 billion people in Bolivia, over a billion of them over the age of 15 are illiterate. This must change.

I am of Bolivian heritage. Bolivia is where my grandparents are from, lived many of their youthful lives there, and returned during my grandfather’s last years. My grandparents, Vico and Sibi, have been two of the most influential role models in my life through inspiration, compassion, and grit, leading beautiful lives by example.

I personally have an innate desire to want to help others. In fact, I have found my vocation in medicine, a mission of service. I want to inspire people to live healthy, happy lives. The feeling that you have changed the lives of hopeful individuals changes my life, filling it with gratitude and pure joy while pursuing things I find fascinating. Kids should not be punished for the economic tragedy instilled by politicians. Right now, they cannot break the cycle of poverty.

I want to change these kids’ lives. I believe the key is education.

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