What can I do to make teen friends in Bolivia?

by Anne
(North Carolina)

Hey, i am a teenage American girl, moving to Bolivia. i have been to Bolivia twice before and i have some really good Bolivian friends now. However they are all guys. most of the girls however are very cold to me. i am a peacekeeper and i have no enemies and i like to be friends with everyone. i am quite friendly and really want to get to know the girls my age, but i guess they view me as a threat because their guy friends are now giving me all the attention (which i thoroughly do NOT want, i am a bit shy and just like to be friends with people rather than have the attention be on me.) The guys are all very friendly and eager to get to know me, which is nice, but however, when i become friends with the Bolivian guys, i cant become friends with the girls because they feel the attention is now on me and not them. i would love to have some Girls as friends and i try to be as loving and happy as i can towards them, but they tend to be rather cold and rude towards me. how can i change this?? i don’t want to be a threat to any of them and they can keep their guys, i do not want them! i am not here to steal all their men. are a lot of the Bolivian girls like this? What should i do or not do to get to know them? i don’t know if somehow i have stepped over the cultural boundaries and offended them, which i don’t think i have, but i don’t know! if you have any help, i would love to hear it! thanks!

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Jun 26, 2015
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bolivia
by: McDade

The citizens of Bolivia are quite friendly with everyone.

May 19, 2015
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Good post
by: Ms. Selina Kuvalis

It is remarkable, rather useful piece, Many thanks

Nov 14, 2012
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your mind reflects your action!!
by: Anonymous

Most of the time what we think & visualize will happen in our real life. If you really think about stealing or attracting other guys then you will do that unconsciously no matter what you say to you and others. That is natural for many. Dont worry. Start thinking straight and right. You can see the whole world coming to you and you will have many choices to choose to make you happy. Good luck dear.
cheers,
Lada

Oct 11, 2012
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Good luck
by: Michael - Sucre -

Story and Intro:
I'm Mike. I have come and gone several times from Bolivia and the U.S. Last time I stayed three years and it was really tough for me at first(October2006-Febuary2010). I was 12 when I arrived and 15 when I left. At first I had a lot of culture shock because I had the Spanish vocabulary of a six year old(age I left Bolivia before) abd younger kids here are a little more advanced in the activities they thought were entertaining. Ad time went by I started making more friends as people would let their insecurities die and there curiosity lead them to include me more. By the time I left, I had many friends, I was more open-minded(look for these people),and I had caught up socially myself. I came back to the U.S. and culture shock again but thats another story. I came back to Bolivia July 2012 at the age of 18. I currently live in Sucre. I have my mom's side of the family so that must have helped. If you come by Sucre, contact me at Oldwolf147@hotmail.com .

My ADVICE: Have an open mind, be optimistic, don't be quick to judge, be a friend to all, look for open minded people(they make awesome company), frequent the parks/recreational areas(at safe times; if you have a dog,take it as pets are good convo starters), also take iniciative to make plans/attend social events with the cousins/other family in age group of your guy friends.

Again goodluck, I hope it helps.

Aug 12, 2012
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Welcome to Bolivia!
by: Joshua

Welcome! I moved to Cochabamba about 2 years ago. Right now i'm on vacation in Santa Cruz It's really hard getting customized (it REALLY is) but i guess i can say that now i'm used to it. I go to CSS (a pirvate american school) and it's very expensive, but it's the only school that i can currently go to. I still have little problems speaking Spanish, but i'm getting there :)

Jan 05, 2012
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making friends and Bolivian culture
by: USA-BOLIVIA

Hi Anne!
Yes, I agree, joining a church and participating in church activities is a great idea!

Being able to speak/understand Spanish would be very helpful too.

Also, please be aware that the Bolivian culture is NOTHING like American culture!!!!

Also, you are at a difficult age ---teen girls are often jealous/insecure about other teen girls.

The people are generally quiet, not very emotional, nor talkative.

They generally keep to themselves --- they mind their own business, when they walk down the street, they don´t look around, nor do they greet/talk to people they don´t know and they don´t help someone they don´t know.

This is their culture, nothing personal against anyone. This how it is. Maybe it´s better and safer for them to be this way.

We Americans tell our children, ¨Don´t talk to strangers!¨ But by the time we are adults, we act like everyone in the whole world is our friend.

We Americans want everyone to like us.
We are obsessed about everyone liking us.

And yeah, you may be a threat to them because you are from USA and look like it and speak English.

They may be jealous of you because they assume that you are richer than they are and you have had better and will have more opportunities in life... and they may be right!

All of this boils down to culture shock.
My advice is to be yourself!

Try to understand that it takes alot of time to get used to a different culture and for them to get used to our ways.

Don´t worry about those who don´t know and like you.

Surely, in school there will be a couple of girls who will discover the treasure that you are and your circle of friends will grow!

Maybe offer practice/help them with their English, but be aware that this can be intimidating for some and an answer to prayer for others. ESLabout.com is very good!

But don´t DO their homework, as they won´t learn and they won´t be able to use it.

Boliviabella is great!
Take good care, Anne!



Jan 05, 2012
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Santa cruz
by: Anne

Oh! i forgot to reply to the other questions, I will be moving there in August of 2012, for about 9 months. And my spanish is pretty good.. i probably sound really stupid, but i am able to converse and understand them and translate as long as they dont talk fast.

Jan 05, 2012
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Santa cruz
by: Anne

Hey thanks for your comments! Ill be moving to santa cruz. All the girls i have met are christians and so am i, but even still they have been rather rude. Ill be in santa cruz de la sierra but will be in santa cruz quite often

Jan 05, 2012
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Teen age friends
by: Anonymous

Join a church as there are plenty of teens that need friends or join a sport where you can meet people.

If you will be in cochabamba the kids that go to the international school all make friends together.

Jan 04, 2012
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What city?
by: Anonymous

Hi Anne - not sure when you wrote this?? What city are you moving to in Bolivia and when? My family and I just moved to Cbba 9 months ago. My oldest is a teen and the next two are close behind. We have the opposite problem....all the girls want to be friends w/my son and he hasn't made any good Bolivian guy friends yet. Honestly don't know what to tell you other than just continue to be yourself, be as nice as possible to the girls and seek out at least ONE good girl to befriend and make efforts to hang out with her as much as possible. Hopefully the other girls will see that you are not a threat, and that you just seek to be their friends. You will most definitely have some cultural challenges to face - come in as a learner and ask lots of questions about what's cool and what's not. Do you speak Spanish very well?

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