The place doesn’t matter. Nor the food, nor the rain. What matters is that we have made ourselves heard. The revolution doesn’t happen in 5-star hotels with buffets of food and it doesn’t happen in the springtime when everything is beautiful. It happens in the moments of crisis,” said 15-year old Alfredo Turqui about demonstrations in La Paz, Bolivia. In December of 2013, Alfredo and his compañeros, all under age 18, marched, shouted in ‘voz alta’, maintained vigil in the rain, and abstained from eating until they convened in the evening at the Alojamiento Imperial, a hotel with nightly rates of 10 Bolivianos—about 1 dollar.
These young demonstrators traveled to La Paz from throughout Bolivia, hoping to be heard by their government, to express concerns about a newly proposed labor law. Their nonviolent resistance was met by police aggression—pepper spray and force, causing several young marchers to be hospitalized. Their voices were heard, word of police action spread, and as a result, they arranged to meet with senators, officials, and finally, President Evo Morales, who listened to their concerns, remembering his days herding llamas as a child.