Gustavo Blanco '25

Internship: Chacha Emprende Project
Location: Bolivia
Program: Projects for Peace

This summer, I decided to go back home to Bolivia to contribute to my community through the Projects for Peace grant. Through this grant, we organized the Chacha Emprende project, a project that is mostly focused to attack two main issues we have in our community. 

The first issue is gender equality. Bolivia, after Mexico, is the country that has the highest rate of violence against women, a fact that is very alarming. Another problem is the economic hit our community has been through after COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Chacha Emprende project, we designed workshops about gender equality through the new masculinities concept and entrepreneurship with experts around Bolivia. Professors from universities and activists for women's rights have been part of these workshops. We have identified twenty indigenous young leaders that were the participants of this project and were the ones that learned about the new masculinities concept, about [entrepreneurship], and I am very happy to have been able to see all the results. 

In the aspect of gender equality we were part of very profound discussions about what it means to be a man in Bolivian society. I was even able to identify some of the stereotypes I was part of and what I can do, what all the participants can do, to change it in order to contribute to gender equality. 

In the aspect of entrepreneurship, at the end of this project we have ideas, very innovative, such as marketing the different businesses through the indigenous languages of Aymara and Quechua. 

I am very thankful because organizing this project has helped me to develop my leadership skills, and also to come to the conclusion that after I finish my career at Princeton I want to redirect all I have learned and the professional career I will have towards the benefit of my community, towards contributing to these beautiful ideas young people have in my community to be possible. 

I am just very grateful to have developed this project because the opportunity to reconnect with my culture through organizing this workshop is something I can't find the words to think. And also the opportunity to contribute to my goal, which is to redirect all the privileged education I have been given in Princeton towards my community is being realized through this project.  

I am pretty sure we really need to keep supporting young indigenous potential in Bolivia, and I'm pretty sure that this will not be the only version of Chacha Emprende and there will be more to come. I hope that we can find the support to make that possible. We are seeing the beautiful results we have had so far, and we are hoping for more.