"I became interested in art when I was a very small girl," says Amparo. She is a pretty 14-year-old girl living at SOS Children's Village Sucre, and she proved to be quite talented artistically. Let's find out how she feels about it.
Amparo, what do you do in your free time?
I became interested in arts when I was a very small girl. I think I started to like it at the time my elder cousins learned to engrave leather. They used to make very beautiful handbags, wallets, purses, belts, key rings, etc. So I asked my mother to enrol me in a course where I can learn leather engraving properly. She was a bit sceptical at the beginning about my talent - because of my age - , but after a few weeks, she realized I had more than a bit of talent. Since then she has supported me very much. She tells everybody about the things I make and people really like the items I produce in my free time.
Why do you think "art" is your best friend?
It's because engraving and decorating are not my only passions: I also like dancing and painting. I took dance classes for several months and learned almost the whole variety of Bolivian traditional dances. Our country is rich in culture and I love to perform all Bolivian dances. I once participated in a famous local parade where my group was awarded with lots of applause and congratulations.
When I feel bad or I have a problem, I play music and I dance to feel better and forget the bad moments. The next day, I feel as good as new. And besides, I won't gain weight.
What about painting?
I love to paint. Every year, three or four months before Christmas time, my brothers, sisters and I get together to make our own Christmas cards for our sponsors. The one I make for my sponsors is done with lots of dedication. I concentrate on every detail. I have the feeling that through my colours and drawings, I can tell them how I feel.
And is it part of your plans to become an artist?
Well, not really. I have a dream and it is to study hotel management and tourism. During school vacation, I work at a restaurant and I learn cooking and confectionary. Leather engraving, dancing, and painting are just hobbies that help me feel great. Art in Bolivia is not something from which you can make ends meet, unless you are very lucky.