Food Sovereignty Tour: Llamas, Quinoa and Andean Food Justice

“It is hard to summarize all the new information that was presented to me by Bolivian locals and from the wonderful professionals – now friends – that I met on the trip. I went in with just an interest in food, and left a food activist.” – Participant in 2011 Food Sovereignty Tour, Bolivia.

If you have an interest in food and agriculture, or simply want to experience a flavor of the Bolivian culture and landscape, then take a look at the Bolivian leg of the Food Sovereignty Tour. It will take place from March 9 – 18, starting on the shores of Lake Titicaca then heading south through the Bolivian Altiplano (high planes), an area with a challenging yet spectacularly beautiful environment with an average altitude of 4,000 meters. You will have the chance to explore the Andean food sovereignty of this region, with an emphasis on llamas and quinoa, whilst being immersed in the local culture.The Food Sovereignty Tours are organized by Food First in partnership with Global Exchange. Food First are a California-based think tank for food justice, aiming to eliminate the problems with the food system that cause hunger, poverty and environmental degradation. They are a research institute who work with communities and social movements to fight for food sovereignty, defined in 1996 by La Via Campesina (International Peasant’s Movement) as,

Photo credit: Shannon DeCelle,

“People’s right to health and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.”

Global Exchange are an international human rights organization who have run a series of ‘Reality Tours‘ since 1988. These tours offer participants the opportunity to experience foreign countries first-hand, beyond what is reported by the mass media. They enable you to travel in a sustainable and socially responsible manner, to learn about different cultures, and also to form relationships with people from those cultures. By doing so, the tours are intended to help you understand how we all contribute to global problems, and to think about how we may change things for the better.

The Food Sovereignty Tours have a special emphasis on educating participants about the global food system. You have the chance to meet local farmers, consumers, and policymakers, and connect with them via the topic of food. As the global movement for food justice grows, so does the need for increased collaboration and education. Food Sovereignty Tours aim to do precisely this – bringing together travelers, food producers, consumers, and food activists to explore and learn about the food system together.

The Bolivian tour is run in collaboration with La Paz on Foot, a Bolivian ecotourism and environmental education company specializing in Andean farming systems. The tour includes community stays, meetings with local farmers and nongovernment organizations (NGOs), as well as the famous breathtaking scenery. The nine-day package costs US$1,690 and includes all transport within Bolivia, accommodation and food, local guides with translators and drivers, and scheduled presentations and workshops. The deadline to sign up is February 20. For more information and to register, visit the tour’s webpage, or contact the delegation leader, Tanya Kerssen, at

Tracey Li is a Research and Communications Intern with INESAD.

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