Copacabana, Bolivia: Stay with the Tito family
Copacabana is a beautiful town located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The place has a sort of invisible dividing line: Half of the place is populated by Bolivian farmers so it's not uncommon to see llamas and sheep roaming the pastures. The other half is filled with tourist bars and restaurants. So it's a nice mix of Andean customs and international flavor too.
Cost is $25 per day, $150 per week.
Includes three meals a day. Write to writerwendydale @ gmail dot com for more details.
Meet the Titos
German Tito (the only guy in this picture) is an elected official in Copacabana, the president of the federation of communities. What that means in English is that he works with the mayor to help distribute resources within Copacabana. When the mayor has an extra million dollars to burn, he basically asks Don Tito how to spend it.
He is a very nice man who apparently likes confetti. He's pictured here with his youngest Camila (the girl in white) and his daughter Nela (brown shawl). Nela runs a stand at the market where she serves customers trout and chairo, a soup made of freeze-dried potatoes called chuño. Trust me, it's tastier than it sounds.
Doña Matilde (center) is married to Don German. She runs a restaurant in the main plaza of Copacabana, where she serves Bolivian specialities such as chicharrón (fried pork served with hominy and chuño) and fricasé, a soup-like dish with a spicy broth made from pork, corn, and potatoes.
Needless to say, a homestay at this family is filled with good food.
The house is pretty basic by American standards. Oh, and the family is very lively so it can be tough to get a word in edgewise. Plus there are two more adorable children living in the house I don't have pictures of. But they're very good friends of mine and a whole lot of fun.