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Episode 45

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Wara


After a complicated divorce, Alejandro Canedo was unemployed and in charge of his two small children. It was a desperate situation, the kind where everything looks bleak, but Alejandro was saved along with his family. And he did it by becoming another person, in a world parallel to ours: Second Life.

You can read a Spanish transcript of the episode, it’s useful if you’re learning the language with this podcast.

Or you can also read an English translation.


Transcript

Translation by Patrick Moseley

 

[Daniel Alarcón, host]: A warning… There is sexual content in this story that is not suitable for children. Discretion is advised.
OK, it all starts with this man.

[Alejandro Canedo]: My name is Alejandro Canedo, I’m an IT specialist. I’m 42 years old.

[Daniel]: In 2007, Alejandro arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with his two children. They were very little. One was a year old and the other was 4.

They came from La Paz, the largest city in the country. Alejandro had just separated from his partner, who he’d been with for 7 years.

[Alejandro]: It was disastrous. It was terrible. It was painful and everything a situation like that has to be.

[Daniel]: In the process of separating, he lost his job at a human rights foundation and his ex-wife took nearly all of his assets.

It was just him, alone, with the kids.

As you can imagine, it was a difficult time.

[Alejandro]: At first I tried to look for a normal job, but with such a young child I couldn’t find any way to do that. It was very difficult to try to eke out a living in an office, complying with schedule.

[Daniel]: He ran out of money. The situation became very complicated, desperate.

[Alejandro]: And beside that, I have the two kids and when you look at them you have to smile, right? There’s no…[laughs] There’s nothing else you can do. When everything spins out of control and falls apart and there’s nothing left to do but pick yourself up out of the ashes and see what you do to survive.

[Daniel]: Many people have been in similar situations. When everything seems bleak and there’s no way out in sight.

But Alejandro found a way out. He actually saved his family and in an unexpected way. He became another person… And he completed this transformation inside a world parallel to our own. If everything I just told you sounds confusing, well, I promise it’ll all make sense soon.

Welcome to Radio Ambulante from NPR. I’m Daniel Alarcón. Ana Cristina Ayala will tell us this story.

Here’s Ana Cristina.

[Ana Cristina]: Alejandro and his children arrived in Santa Cruz with just their clothes and a laptop. The stayed with relatives.

Well, imagine yourself in that situation. How do you get started? Well, with a job.

[Alejandro]: Filling out forms, doing surveys, sending out email marketing, etc. etc.

[Ana Cristina]: Whatever he could do to make money fast.

[Alejandro]: I tried all of that nonsense that they were offering on social media at the time, to make a few pesos, you know.

[Ana Cristina]: But…

[Alejandro]: It’s really hard to get together a hundred dollars doing things like that, I’m telling you.

[Ana Cristina]: So he set out to find other options. And one day he came across an article that caught his attention. The headline read: “Anche Shung: the first virtual millionaire.” The article explained how a woman had amassed a nearly million-dollar fortune using a kind of game on the internet.

The article described a virtual world that you may have heard of before: it’s called Second Life. And it became very successful. It was created in 2003 and in just 4 years it came to have more than a million active users a month. Maybe right now that doesn’t sound like a lot, but 10 years ago, the internet was not as widespread in daily life and a million users was a big deal.

Second life is more than a video game and people thought it was going to be the future of the digital age. This was before Facebook, of course… The virtual world nearly all of us live in now.

But Second Life hasn’t disappeared. It’s a bit of a relic, but half a million people still use it every month. And for them it’s an important part of their lives.

In order to enter into this world, all you need is an internet connection. If you still don’t really understand what Second Life is, I’m afraid Alejandro won’t be able to help you…

[Alejandro]: The immersive virtual world seems more like a 3D game, an MMORPG, or an Online Role Playing Game.

[Ana Cristina]: Okay. Let me try to explain.

It’s a game where you play as a character who has specific attributes. A character that you come up with yourself. And there are no limits. You can live in Second Life as a man or a woman, white, black, green, orange. You can have wings or live as a cat or a frog or anything else you can imagine.

It’s nice if you think about it. A great big collective creation where millions of human beings create the things they imagine. And there is no goal. There’s no objective.

[Alejandro]: You just live life. You don’t go into Second Life to kill monsters, rather, it’s a simulation of the real world where you can carry out practically any of the activities that a human being can.

[Ana Cristina]: Any. Or rather, all. Relationships, work, entertainment. It’s a celebration of the day-to-day. Transformed, of course, because everyone inside the game has come up with their avatar.

And like in the real world, there’s money in Second Life. A lot of money. At that time, in 2007, it was millions of dollars.

[Alejandro]: That number really got my attention.

[Ana Cristina]:  Listen, real money. It was…

[Alejandro]: A burgeoning world market of commercial products exclusively for residents of the virtual world.

[Ana Cristina]: In Second Life they use a virtual currency called the Linden. It only has any value in the game, but the users can buy, sell and trade it for real dollars at exchange houses inside of Second Life and on the website of the company that owns the platform.

Users can make things and sell them. Virtual things, obviously. Intangible things that only exist in that world. And in this regard, just like with creating the avatars, there are no limits. You can create whatever you can think of…

[Alejandro]: From little shoes for those dolls, those avatars, to wear, to a house or a complex animation system. Skin for your body.

[Ana Cristina]: A witch or wizard costume. Or an astronaut or a chef or a police officer. From the most daring to the most mundane.

And Alejandro is talking about all kinds of animations: ones to make your avatar dance to merengue or techno music, or do yoga or kiss…

Everything has a price. You want a horse?

3890 Lindens, or 15 US dollars.

Your rich kid avatar wants a yacht?

Sure. 20,000 Lindens. Which is under 70 US dollars.

Like I said before, creating a Second Life account doesn’t cost a thing. It’s totally free. But…

[Alejandro]: When you create an avatar in Second life, you have a very basic appearance, ugly clothes and a horrible face.

[Ana Cristina]: And well, with that you can go and enjoy the virtual world, but you aren’t going to stand out…you aren’t going to get attention or express your individuality. And deep down, that’s what this is all about. So if you have a nice dress or a crazy weird outfit, people are going to notice you.

And it’s also a self-esteem thing: just like you try to dress up a little to go out in public, in Second Life you want the other users to think you look good.

And Alejandro, desperate and with nothing to lose, saw an opportunity.

[Alejandro]: “This has to be it,” I said.  

[Ana Cristina]: Even though he didn’t know how to design, he could tell that he could achieve something important in that other world. After all, in the real world, the one we call real, all he had were problems.

So he downloaded Second Life, he made an account and made an avatar… a man.
[Alejandro]: It was a basic avatar, an ugly avatar if you will, because I didn’t have any money to buy nice clothes or a good skin or a good shape.

[Ana Cristina]: He called him Tunupa, after an Aymara god, the indigenous people of Bolivia. In Aymara cosmology, Tunupa controls order in the world.

What would you do in a limitless world to make money?

Well, Alejandro decided to be a construction worker.

For those of you who have never been in Second Life, everything that’s coming up is going to sound odd. Like out of science fiction. And in a certain sense, it is science fiction.

All economic or social activity that takes place on Second Life takes place in a place, a space, a piece of land. The company that owns Second Life has a lot of places people can go to for free…Public property: clubs, plazas, parks…

But there are also private places, like houses, where you can have an intimate life.

People buy or rent plots of land…with Lindens…  either from the founding company or other users, and they build their home…

[Alejandro]: You don’t need any materials other than your imagination. All tools for construction are there at your disposal.

[Ana Cristina]: Materials like stone, wood, even doors and windows etc. All of that is on hand, for free, as part of the game. “Building” in this case means taking these pieces and putting them together. In the shape of a house.

And most of the money in Second Life moves through that business of buying and selling land and houses. If you want good money, you have to be a landowner. It’s the only way.

And Alejandro…

[Alejandro]: I tried, I poured myself into trying. I made a ton of little things and I made pennies.  

[Ana Cristina]: Literally cents on the dollar.

When he got tired of building, he would go kill time at Dance Island, a famous night club in Second Life.

There’s always someone to chat with there, because people make friends…

[Alejandro]: Really fast in these kinds of immersive virtual worlds.  

[Ana Cristina]: And Alejandro liked it. But on top of that, you could learn about a lot at the club. Rumors, tips, news. In that sense, it was a like any bar in the real world, where people exchange ideas.

One day Alejandro met a Spanish woman living in the US. They started talking. At the time, you couldn’t chat with audio, so they used text, like a Whatsapp or an instant messenger inside the virtual world.

At some point in the conversation, the topic of money came up. Alejandro told her that he was looking for ways to make money in Second Life, but it wasn’t going well. And the woman told him…

[Alejandro]: That she owned 3 or 4 islands in Second Life.

[Ana Cristina]: Islands are the largest and most valuable plots of land in Second Life. Alejandro did the calculations…Each island had several houses. If the Spanish woman rented out all of them…

[Alejandro]: She was a Second Life millionaire.

[Ana Cristina]: And after talking for a while, the woman made him an offer that he accepted without question.

[Alejandro]: She hired me to help her sell.

[Ana Cristina]: In other words, Alejandro would be the one who showed the houses to people who were interested in buying them. He would earn a commission on every house sold. And so, at a nightclub, Tunupa, Alejandro’s avatar, became a real-estate agent.

It’s worth mentioning that in the real world, which is to say, in Bolivia, Alejandro had never worked in property sales. Or in construction, his previous virtual job.

He learned more and more about the business. The money was significantly better but it still wasn’t enough to live the way he had before the divorce. He had never been rich, but he did live comfortably. We’ll say he had a middle class life.

A second job in the real world wasn’t an option, since he had to take care of his kids who spend most of their time at home. So he continued to flounder financially. To him, it was clear: if he wanted money, he needed land in Second Life.

And to get it, Alejandro had two options. One was…  

[Alejandro]: Get your credit card and put, I don’t know, 500 or 1000 US dollars in land in Second Life; parcel it out and start selling.

[Ana Cristina]: Something he couldn’t do because he didn’t even have a credit card.

Or…

[Alejandro]: Do it a little like in real life, start from the bottom, build up some capital, work with it and then look for better businesses…

[Ana Cristina]: So that’s what he opted for. He started spending more time working with the Spanish woman, going to the club and making friends and contacts. And around then, Alejandro heard about another big business in Second Life…

[Alejandro]: Sex. Everything having to do with sexuality, relationships…

[Ana Cristina]: But the most profitable was…

[Alejandro]: Being a sexual companion. You know?

[Ana Cristina]: This may seem obvious. There’s a reason they call it the world’s oldest profession. But when it came to making money, his avatar, Tunupa, was at a disadvantage.

[Alejandro]: Of course: even though there were men, the escorts who really made money were women.

[Ana Cristina]: So…Could Alejandro be a female escort?

[Alejandro]: Ok let’s see, man: you speak three languages, you’re a highly intelligent person, you have good taste.

[Ana Cristina]: The chance was there. And contrary to what happens in real life, a sexual exchange in Second Life is a matter of a click.

Done. So he quit his real estate job, abandoned his avatar Tunupa and his new identity was born. A woman named Wara Ysabel.

That’s the logic of Second Life. You can be whatever you want, whatever man or woman you want. Without consequences. Without being modest. Without explaining it to anyone.

If it sounds weird, or if your thinking, gosh, I would never do that… Think about the person you really are, and then compare that to the version of yourself that’s on social media. There are days in which the distance between those two people is a chasm.

[Daniel]: We’ll be back after a short break.

 

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[Daniel]: Before the break, Alejandro made the decision to become an escort with the hope of someday becoming a landowner in Second Life.

So, Alejandro wants to introduce you to his new avatar: Wara Ysabel.

[Alejandro]: She had very elegant features, a slim body and not very dark in complexion with dark hair and dark eyes, a narrow waist and long legs.

[Daniel]: Ana Cristina continues the story.

[Ana Cristina]: Wara Ysabel was a good fit for her job. She had an eye catching physique.

Alejandro had come up with a whole story for her, to give her an air of mystery, a certain humanness behind those pixels.

And with the virtual Wara and the fictional backstory of a flesh and blood Wara, Alejandro was ready to go to a club and get to work.

He went to one of the famous Second Life escort clubs at the time, it was called “Platinum Escorts.” He rented a space there, for about 1,500 lindens, or 6 US dollars a week.

The dynamic was simple.

The escort would go to the club and put out an alert saying she was available and go to one of the many poles to do a pole dance.

Second Life had the particular feature that certain objects have animations connected to them which the avatars can activate once they interact with them. For example, a chair has the animation for sitting built in.

So the pole…

[Alejandro]: Had the animations for a pole dance…at a nightclub.

[Ana Cristina]: But even with the normal dances, you didn’t have a lot of tools to seduce someone. For example, an avatar can’t wink…

[Alejandro]: But sometimes an avatar needs to wink.

[Ana Cristina]: And like we said, at the time there was no voice chat on Second Life. You could only chat via text.

So the users developed a way to express emotions, humor, tone of voice, facial expressions and subtle body movements. It’s called emote. For example Alejandro would write in a chat:

[Alejandro]: “Wara sees a young man in a blue suit walk up, she winks at him, swings her hips and grabs onto the pole leaning back.” Get it? [laughs] something like that.

[Ana Cristina]: And this language was essential to seducing clients. And Alejandro –well, Wara– spoke three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese. In other words, she had a lot of potential clients.

In the club there was a public chat –one that everyone could read– where the escorts tried to seduce clients using emotes.

If the client was interested in an escort, he would open a private chat with her.

[Alejandro]: So while you were seducing the client with the dance and the conversation, you were getting, let’s call them, your tips. As they gave you tips you would get naked.

[Ana Cristina]: The avatar would be taking off its clothes. And once the client was convinced…

[Alejandro]: Well, then you would go to a room, a suite, and there would be a virtual sexual encounter.

[Ana Cristina]: Just like with the stripper poles or the chairs, the beds in these rooms had animations associated with them. One of them –the most logical– was sleeping. But most were sex positions.

[Alejandro]: Anything you could imagine. I mean, it made Kamasutra seem tiny.

[Ana Cristina]: On top of that, the escorts could buy more animations that didn’t come with the beds…dances, embraces, oral sex…Whatever you can think of. The more money you made, the more animations you could buy, becoming more attractive to the clients.

And maybe you’re thinking to yourself: no, the avatar you make in Second Life doesn’t have sex organs, but you can buy them…They’re available like any other product, with different characteristics and prices. Some are cheap: penises that look like broomsticks.

[Alejandro]: But there are some that are super realistic that range in angle, width, length, color and I don’t know what else.

[Ana Cristina]: And so yes: before he started working, Alejandro had to buy a vagina for Wara.

That’s how a middle class man ends up selling his body –female body– in a dark corner of a virtual bar. Questionable. Certainly. He would never do it in real life. We can’t imagine Alejandro dancing on a pole, flirting with clients in order to later sleep with them.

But well, in Second Life, like we said: There are no repercussions and no one judges you.

When I asked him if at the time he had told anyone, his family and his friends about what he was doing on Second Life, he told me:

[Alejandro]: No well, no, no. What are you thinking? No…that would be terrible.

[Ana Cristina]: To his family, friends and acquaintances, Alejandro worked on “digital projects.” It was a white lie that was easy to believe because he had always worked with computers.

Yes, Alejandro had his doubts, lying to his family as well as his clients. But his justification was that he was offering a service.

And of course, prostitution promotes the objectification of women. But Alejandro’s response is that no one in the real world was being hurt or being made to do anything they didn’t want to do.

Besides, being an escort was more lucrative than building or selling houses.

[Alejandro]: I’m telling you, you could make between 10 and 20 US dollars an hour.

[Ana Cristina]: For writing in a chat.

That was just what Alejandro needed, what he had been looking for since his divorce. Easy money. Working from home while he took care of his kids.

Some people view virtual worlds like Second Life with prejudice and suspicion. They think it’s for weirdos. People who others would think are sick or have social problems.

But a lot of these people just want to experience something new, different. To do something they would never dare to do in real life. And you can see this most of all in the realm of sex.

[Alejandro]: Not having any bodily risk, you understand, I think that encourages people to experiment. There are a lot of women who would never go to a club and then go to bed with the first hot guy they see. Maybe they wouldn’t in real life. But in Second Life, why not? In the end, what do you have to lose? In the end, if you don’t like him, you block the guy and he ceases to exist, you know? You can’t see him and he can’t see you anymore –and problem solved.

[Ana Cristina]: Besides, in the world of Second Life, you can find everything. Group sex, public sex… The only restriction is pedophilia: child avatars are not allowed in the areas where these encounters occur. Even if it’s an adult playing as child.

Remember how in Second Life, the basic tool for seduction is chat. That’s how Wara made herself stand apart from the other escorts. She was good at these conversations.

[Alejandro]: She established a seductive line of communication that was a little more poetic. I’ll put it this way, I don’t want you to interpret it like “oh what a poet he is!” But it was like that, you know, it marked a line, it marked a tendency.

[Ana Cristina]: Wara was more charming, with a manner of speaking that was more sophisticated than “hey hot stuff” and “ay papi” etc.

[Alejandro]: So of course, eventually she became a superstar in the area.

[Ana Cristina]: And she started to make quite a bit of money. Enough money to support Alejandro’s children. And finally, after spending 9 months immersed in Second Life, he was able to move out of his relatives’ house and move in to his own apartment with his kids.

In the morning, the kids were at school. The older one was in pre-school and the younger one went to daycare, and they spent the afternoon together. At night, when the kids were asleep, at 9 or 10, Alejandro started working until 3 or 4 at night.

Because, of course, in this line of work…

[Alejandro]: You need to have all the time and silence and freedom to do those things.

[Ana Cristina]: Alejandro never stopped thinking about becoming a landowner in Second Life. He always remembered that Spanish woman who owned those islands he met at the club.

And finally things were different. Alejandro made enough money to save some of it. So…

[Alejandro]: I decided to take it to the next level, which was having my own escort club. And I got two.

[Ana Cristina]: He founded his own escort academy in Second Life and it went really well for him. He trained close to 80 women. By that time, Wara wasn’t an escort anymore.

She, and Alejandro, lived off of their profits from renting land.  

In 2009, two years after Alejandro created Wara, Second Life introduced the ability to chat with a microphone. I asked Alejandro if he would have been able to do that job, being an escort, with audio.

He told me it would have been harder, of course. But he was confident enough in his character’s ability to do it. Because Wara wasn’t just any escort, her charm was in her ability to converse, to be astute and interesting. So having a voice certainly would have helped.  

In any case, by then, Wara was a landowner. A public figure. She needed a voice.

Alejandro used his own, modifying it with a computer program.  

[Alejandro]: I spent like two and half months of adjusting the nobs before I was able to calibrate my intonation, my modulation and my tone of voice.

[Ana Cristina]: And so Wara was able to speak for the first time.
[Wara]: Hello, how are you my dear friends? This is Wara Ysabel. And today I’m going to teach you the basics of the new visor Phoenix…

[Ana Cristina]: With her new voice, Wara started a Youtube channel and started uploading video tutorials on different topics related to Second Life.

Ranging from what to do to make the program run better on the computer, to…
[Wara]: How to use the new physics and gravity function for your avatar’s breasts, core and butt…

[Ana Cristina]: And well, between the clubs, the school and the videos, life on Second Life soon became very busy.

[Alejandro]: It consumed my whole life, because it was… You had clients 24 hours a day and so you had problems to solve 24 hours a day.

[Ana Cristina]:]: It was hard to balance the job and raising his kids. But he found a way to do it.

But don’t think that Alejandro became a millionaire. When you converted those millions of Lindens –the virtual currency used on Second Life– that Wara was earning, it came out to 500 or 600 US dollars a month. To some that may not seem like a lot but Bolivia is one of the most inexpensive countries in Latin America. He spent 160 dollars on rent and food was cheap. So he had enough money for other things.

By this point, Alejandro spoke more openly about his life on Second Life. He would tell people that he lived off of profits from his land and that he had different creative projects with his character, Wara Ysabel.

The reactions he got were a mix of surprise and curiosity. Few people know that you can make money on Second Life. And everyone was fascinated by the stories Alejandro was telling about this world that seemed secret and totally foreign.

Until one day, the real world interrupted the virtual world. Or vice versa.

(SOUNDBITE SPEECH FROM EVO MORALES)

[Evo Morales]: In Bolivia we still have two departments that are not integrated…or four departments.

[Ana Cristina]: It was 2011 and the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, was promoting the construction of a highway that would divide in half the Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory, or TIPNIS, by its Spanish initials.

(SOUNDBITE SPEECH FROM EVO MORALES)

[Evo Morales]: This would appear to be a debate between development and ecology. False, what is under debate here is the poverty of our indigenous brothers and sister who live in this region.

[Ana Cristina]: It was rather controversial. In response, several indigenous ecological groups decided to march 600 kilometers from the TIPNIS to the Plaza de Murillo, in La Paz, to ask them not build the highway. It was a trek across the Andes that would take two months.

Alejandro was very moved by this. He also felt indignant about the government’s decision. And there was one event that compelled him to take action.

(SOUNDBITE FROM NEWS REPORT)

[Journalist]: At 5:10 pm, the police started approaching the encampment of the indigenous marchers. And began firing tear gas…

[Alejandro]: Half-way through, the police ambushed them, they beat them and mistreated them, they gassed them, they cuffed and gagged them, they loaded them onto trucks, they separated mothers from their children… In other words, anything you couldn’t imagine coming from an indigenous government happened.  

(SOUNDBITE FROM NEWS REPORT)

[Journalist]: The operation against the encampment that had been located near Yucumo was surprising and oppressive.

[Ana Cristina]: Alexandro was close with a group from the University of Santa Cruz that was organizing to help the resistance.

[Alejandro]: They invited me to help them with their social media.

[Ana Cristina]: And it occurred to Alejandro that he could use Wara to do it. At the time, Wara was already a celebrity on Second Life and would use Facebook and Twitter to communicate with her followers.

[Alejandro]: It was just a matter of arithmetic. I had 50 followers and Wara had 4,000. What would you want me to do? Which would you choose? [laughs] Right? It was just arithmetic.

[Ana Cristina]: And that’s how Wara became a kind of digital spirit for the march. She relayed every bit of news about TIPNIS and the march through Facebook, Twitter and even Second Life, making sure that the whole story was being told.

[Alejandro]: Every 10 kilometers they moved forward, every time it hailed on them, every time a child got sick, every time someone suffered a fall, you know? There’s a national reaction.

[Ana Cristina]: Finally, on October 19th, 2011, the march arrived in La Paz.

(SOUNDBITE FROM NEWS REPORT)
[Chant]: TIPNIS, TIPNIS, TIPNIS…

[Ana Cristina]: And while Wara was keeping people informed, Alejandro…

[Alejandro]: I got my two kids and I went to help however I could. And we were there with my kids for days, bringing breakfast, carrying things and helping how we could.

[Ana Cristina]: The national level protest resulted in an inviolability decree. That is to say, a decree that prohibited the government from touching Isiboro Sécure Natural Park. It was a triumph.

That’s maybe the weirdest most unexpected part of a story that’s already weird on its own. A made-up avatar is, for several months, the economic salvation of a family, and at the same time the shameful secret of its owner. In time, that avatar becomes a public figure that challenged the government.

This is the story of a character. About innovation. It may sound dramatic, but a divorce is like a death in life. When you’re married you always think of yourself as part of a pair, part of a family. That ends, and you have to lay new roots.

For Alejandro, Second Life was exactly that. Not just to pull his life out of a terrible hole, but also to discover a new side of himself.

[Alejandro]: It’s a new form of expression you have. I felt very comfortable all those hours I was Wara, and it came to me vary naturally.

[Ana Cristina]: Perhaps a more complete version of Alejandro.

And that makes me think about what people look for in Second Life. It’s a place where people can fill and void. Even if only a little.

Spending some time without the weight that society imposes on us. Being a little freer. Perhaps finding a more complex version of ourselves. A version that makes us feel surer of who we are…happier. Living the “what if…” without consequences, without fear.

In a safe place.

Thanks to the work she did during the TIPNIS protest, Wara became somewhat famous outside of Second Life as well. Alejandro started getting job offers for Wara, from communication consultants.

That’s the work he does now, as a communicator, for Gobierno Abierto, an entity that tells Bolivians what the government is doing with their taxes and maintains active communication with citizens through social media.

Wara is semi-retired. Alejandro still goes on to Second Life sometimes.

[Alejandro]: And I say hi to old friends and I go dance for little bit and well that’s it, you know?

[Ana Cristina]: And when he talks about Wara, he does it with affection.

[Alejandro]: I see her as a old woman walking through the streets remembering her prime and where she still has some old friends who remember her as that woman from before.

[Daniel]: Wara and the indigenous activists’ victory against the highway didn’t last. In August of 2017, president Evo Morales repealed the inviolability agreement. Construction is in progress.

 

Ana Cristina Ayala is a journalist and lives in Bogota. This story was produced with the help of Luis Fernando Vargas and edited by Camila Segura, Silvia Viñas and me. Sound design and music are by Andrés Azpiri. Thanks to Efraín Llave for his help in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

The rest of the Radio Ambulante team includes Jorge Caraballo, Patrick Moseley, Laura Pérez, Ana Prieto, Barbara Sawhill, Ryan Sweikert, Luis Trelles, David Trujillo and Elsa Liliana Ulloa. Carolina Guerrero is the CEO.

Radio Ambulante is produced and mixed on Hindenburg PRO.

Learn more about Radio Ambulante and about this story on our website: radioambulante.org. Radio Ambulante tells the stories of Latin America. I’m Daniel Alarcón. Thanks for listening.

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