Hey Bella, why don't you write about the bad stuff?

by Bella
(Santa Cruz)

Today I got a message from someone who tells me I'm too positive. What he means by this is that he's concerned people won't get the full picture about Bolivia. He's very right in having observed that on BoliviaBella.com I highlight the positive aspects of this country (which, believe me, sometimes is not a very easy thing to do) and he's also correct in saying that Bolivia is not a perfect country and people have a right to know that.

It has a lot of negative aspects, as any country does, but there's a reason I don't spend much time delving into them and it's very simple, really: there are plenty of others who are doing that. You can read about Bolivia's negative aspects any day in the news and hundreds of other blogs and websites. Unfortunately, things don't seem to make the news unless they're negative: disasters, wars, political controversy, economic crisis.

I think people who are considering moving to Bolivia will explore many sources of information (not just one - and if they don't they should) before making a decision as important as moving overseas to a vast unknown country, and there are plenty to choose from. You can view them by clicking on the green Bolivia in the News button to your left.

In fact, one of the reasons I began to create BoliviaBella.com was precisely BECAUSE Bolivia doesn't seem to make the news at all unless something negative or controversial has happened. Bolivia has never been fairly represented in the news. It doesn't get a fair shake. I wanted to do something to show Bolivia's beautiful and good side - the side so few ever cover. So it isn't that I don't desire to provide a balanced view (in fact if you spend some time in our forums you'll find a huge variety of opinions and thoughts) I just think there are plenty of other sources focusing on nothing but the negative and that balance is being provided aptly elsewhere.

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Comments for Hey Bella, why don't you write about the bad stuff?

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Jan 17, 2017
More info please
by: Anonymous

Do tell more, I'm interested /was interested in applying.

Sep 23, 2016
Cambridge College Nightmare
by: Anonymous

Cambridge College/The CEC are just as much of a nightmare as the posts described years ago. Foolishly I neglected to take them seriously before arriving due to how emotion-rich they were but I have suffered greatly for this mistake. I cannot urge how much veracity they contained. I cannot warn with enough strength - STAY AWAY FROM CAMBRIDGE COLLEGE, SANTA CRUZ DE LA SIERRA.

They've recently posted ads on Dave's ESL Cafe and having worked here this year I have been through hell. The managers are incompetent and nearly none of your benefits will be paid from your contract. Do not waste your time with these cruel, inept fools!!!

May 28, 2015
by: Anonymous

Very good article! I love the writing style of the author.

Apr 28, 2015
by: Robin Hull

Yeah even I would love to hear someone take the initiative and show the guts to open up about the darker shades of the world too. As much as the readers have interest in the good so do they have when it comes to the bad too.

Nov 28, 2014
In reply to
by: chroteena

I simply agree with the statement that Bella never writes about bad stuff. It actually makes my day a perfect one. It is better to write about positive stuffs rather than brining in negative elements and making someone dull today. Think positive and be positive.

Jan 10, 2014
I know this is an old post
by: Anonymous

Hey all I know this thread has been inactive for awhile but I was googling Cambridge College and it came up. I have been working there for a few years and I can honestly say it has improved a lot from the stories I´ve heard of old. Obviously it still has some idiosyncrasies, but on the whole the kids are good and the admin is taking steps to be more teacher friendly. We just moved to a great new campus, a little far away, but brand new. We have been being paid late due to construction costs but the money does come. We have been getting aguinaldos (even the double one!) but I do know that people who are brought from abroad have a separate contract and do not receive this (which is the same as the Cooperative School). Basically, it´s not perfect but, like the country, it is developing and improving.

Dec 16, 2012
How can I get a hold of Paul
by: Anonymous

How can I get a hold of Paul who made a comment on this forum. I am interested in his experience at Cambridge College. I have heard such terrible things and would like to clear some things up perhaps.

Mar 23, 2012
so sweet
by: BoliviaBella.com

Thank you TallCowboy0614.

I suggest everyone considering traveling or moving to Bolivia do some research before departing. This includes viewing news sites and other sites for more than one point of view. However, it's not fully true that we don't publish the negative too.

We love it when our guests add their opinions to our forums and our Bolivia News page (which can be viewed by clicking on the little green Bolivia News button on the left) provides various sources of news about Bolivia in both English and Spanish, that updates continually throughout the day. Guests can also add their own news or links to news stories about Bolivia in our Bolivia News Forum.


Mar 22, 2012
This is an interesting subject....
by: TallCowboy0614

I had not even thought about it before, though I have been a frequent peruser of this site for several years.

I am perhaps lucky because my wife and kids are Bolivianos, and as such, I am notified of the negative stuff, places I cannot safely go after dark, etc. by them.

I also spent the money to buy the Lonely Planet book on Bolivia, so I got good advice on how to avoid the negative stuff as well.

NO travel- or country-related site is going to spend much time nor effort on the "negative" stuff. My wife and her family tells me there are places I should not go after dark in Santa Cruz, but hell, in reality there are places I should not go after dark in Los Angeles, CA, USA as well!!!!

Given a binary yes/no option, I would MUCH rather have a site that only tells me the positive stuff than one that only tells me the negative.

If a site says to me, "go here" I would assume it was good, sound advice, unless they also say "go here, unless it is dark".

I think this site does a BANG-UP job of presenting information!!

May 28, 2011
by: Tyler

Cementario de elefantes is a good model of terrible occurrences. I watched it once with my fiancee and will never again. For me, Bolivia is a place of opportunity and luck. I been in the country less than a month and I get offered to perform professionally in the local La Paz nightclub, Traffic.

I think peoples own appearances could have a large effect on things for people. Having a spendy digital camera hanging from your neck and taking photos of people without approaching them is a fast way to earn trouble.

Also, having a view where cleaner, more well hidden set of problems means a better society. I call it front yard syndrome and it's one of the things people have to adjust to when traveling here.

I see this as a metaphoric example of something else however. Hiding problems is a higher level of dysfunction as a society and as an individual. Bolivia likes to "let it all hang out," and in many situations it makes things a lot easier to deal with. Garbage in La Paz is pretty efficient and free. The people tend to be more upfront as well, and in doing so, are less likely to totally snap at something small like they do in the states. People are not afraid to argue in the streets in La Paz and domestic violence can occur (although all I have ever seen is women attacking men the 6 or 7 times I saw things in the street.)

What I am getting at with all this is that it is a different system. Driving is no less functional in La Paz, but it is of a different system.

Trying to explain bad aspects usually just boils down to a handful of bad eggs and the rest is just differences of interpretation that depend entirely on the individuals ability to let go of the systems of home.

Once you get past Front Yard Syndrome all that's left is to see the art that people put into every thing that they do. The buildings are beautiful, the city attempts to provide entertainment and culture and beauty is everywhere.

Oct 05, 2010
Hey Bella, why don't you write about the bad stuff?
by: BoliviaBella

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Oct 05, 2010
Save another Brit from a living hell-Cambridge College!!!!
by: Paul

Then why don't Chef Noly and "Asia" apply for a job in Cambridge College, Santa Cruz, and see what it's like to be treated as a slave by the director and dictator maria renee Canedo. You will get no pay slip, no pension or social security contributions, no aguinaldo, no rights at all, and, if you complain, you will be out on your ear and stuck in Bolivia to fend for yourself. Even when the ministry of Work inspects the school and finds more than 30 irregularities-more than enough to close the place down, the corrupt owner and her lawyer throw money at people and no action is taken.. Now they are advertising again for some other poor Brit to travel half way round the world to become prisoner of this evil, evil woman and her regime. Go on, try it!

Jul 15, 2010
by: ASIA


Apr 22, 2010
Keep it positive
by: Chef Noly

Every country has pros and cons. When you meet someone from another country do you tell them all the negative things about your country? No, of course not, you promote the positive to show how proud you are of your country. This site is called BoliviaBella, not BoliviaFea. I think its great that Bella promotes the positive. Keep it up Bella!

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