Recent WILPF Action Alerts
THINKING OF COMING TO THE INTERNATIONAL WILPF CONGRESS IN BOLIVIA? HERE'S OUR "TOP TEN" FAQ OF THE WEEK!
The "Top Ten" Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is the Congress really happening?
YES. After some concerns about the longterm finances of WILPF, the decision is to go ahead with this important and urgent gathering of WILPF women from around the world.
2. Where can I get detailed information about the Congress and the agenda?
See the International Congress link on the International WILPF home page, www.wilpf.int.ch
3. Do I need a visa to go to Bolivia with a US passport?
NO! There was a question about this and the congress information in the latest Peace and Freedom magazine says that US travelers needs visas. We have now confirmed from several Bolivian and US government sources that US travelers DO NOT NEED VISAS.
4. What kind of documentation DO I need?
You need to have a US Passport that is valid for 6 months past the date of your return travel. To the nongovernmental mind, this does not necessarily make sense, but it is a requirement that many countries have, and Bolivia is one of them!
5. How can I pay for my registration fee for the Congress?
If you register quickly, the Jane Addams Peace Association is willing to help facilitate the international bank transfer to Geneva of payments in US dollars. For payments received at JAPA by May 15th, JAPA will handle the transfer. Send a photocopy of your registration to the Linda Belle, JAPA Director, along with a check made out to JAPA for the amount of your registration PLUS $10 for a share of the bank's transfer fee. The memo on the check should indicate "Congress 2007". [Jane Addams Peace Association, 777 UN Plaza, NY, NY 10017]
6. What will the weather be like? Is it winter in Bolivia?
Santa Cruz is in the tropical lowlands of Bolivia, at sea level. Summer is considered one of the more cooler but rainier times of year and the Congress will be held in a modern hotel with air conditioning. Bolivia is relatively near the equator and the seasons are based on the amount of rain, no winter at all! Bring your bathing suit as well as some kind of rain cover, and shoes that can safely get wet.
7. What is the least expensive way to go?
Will there be a "WILPF flight"? It is recommended to book your flight as soon as possible-summer is a popular time of year for travel from the US to Bolivia and the good/cheap fares will go quickly. For round trips from the US you can use the popular sites on the web( orbitz, expedia, travelocity,etc.) for comparing and booking flights. Please be ALERT to whether the flight includes an "overnight" stop in a point such as Miami....you could have a wonderful fare that would be cancelled out by the cost of staying overnight! Direct flights from any US point to Santa Cruz are rare, it is likely that you will need to go by way of La Paz, the capital city of Bolivia. WILPF recommends that you get insurance on your flight in case of the "unexpected".There is no "WILPF flight". Airlines do offer reduced rates for groups of more than 10 willing to fly together--if you can organize a group, that could save as much as one or two hundred dollars on your flight.
8. Will there be a chance to travel elsewhere in Bolivia?
The Bolivia Section of WILPF, the host section for Congress, has planned to include some cultural experience and a tour of the Santa Cruz city highlights in the Congress program. There is no WILPF-organized additional travel in Bolivia, but there are some members interested in organizing travel either before or after the Congress. For more information, please contact contact WILPF member Jane Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with potential fellow travelers.
9. Are there health considerations I should know about?
Santa Cruz is at sea level but La Paz is one of the world's highest altitude cities ( about 11,000 feet) almost double the altitude of Mexico City. Santa Cruz is in the lowlands and you should check the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta for recommended innoculations.
The standard precautions against drinking tap water, or ice made from tap water, or eating salads or unpeeled fruit, apply. See www.cdc.gov/travel/ and click on "tropical South America" for extensive health information. The precautions recommended include mosquito protection and anti-malaria medication.
10. What about money? Can I spend dollars?
Bolivia has a national currency, the Boliviano, which is approximately 8 Bs to the $1.00. Changing cash dollars will be possible at the hotel and other commercial locations. A combination of bringing cash in denominations of $20 or below plus bringing your credit card and bank card is recommended. Travelers checks are no longer easy to use, often requiring fees and bureaucracy. Cash machines (ATMs, known in Spanish as "Cajeros Automaticos") are widely available and simple to use to access your home bank account for cash that will come out of the machine in local currency. Credit cards put high fees on this process but most banks have much lower charges for withdrawals from bank accounts.
11. Will there be more FAQs?
Yes, we will try to provide updated information as we get it, and to respond to the questions as they come in.
Vamonos al Congreso! Let's go to the Congress!
New material posted at the Cuba and Bolivarian Issue Committee pages. Several women are touring the US with films and insights.