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A young girl in Paraguay enjoying the book "Cayendo Hacia Arriba." I like how the flower appears to be tucked behind her ear.

Falling Uphill in Paraguay with the Peace Corps

Not Lost in Translation

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A Peace Corp instructor reads from “Cayendo Hacia Arriba” to students from the group Jóvenes por Paraguay.

Through a donation from the author himself, Cayendo Hacia Arriba (Falling Uphill), finally made its Paraguayan debut! (Update: This experience was so successful that a local philanthropist bought 35 more books so that the program could continue.)

Scott Stoll is an author from my hometown who served as the U.S. Embassy’s cultural ambassador in Argentina during the 2011-2012 school year. His time in Argentina and collaboration with Argentine schools resulted in a Spanish language version of his book, Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life, about his 4-year journey around the world on his bicycle.

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The books always need a personal touch.

Thanks to a generous book donation from Scott a group of Paraguayan youth at a national leadership camp called Jóvenes por Paraguay were able to plan a short reading workshop for kids at a nearby orphanage.

The teenage youth and younger kids seemed to love the story equally– always receiving big laughs at the part of the story where Scott says he got stuck in mud in the desert until a family rescued him. The family told him he was in luck that they came because anacondas, tarantulas and piranhas love the taste of people from the United States.

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A girl in Paraguay holding the picture of her dream to become a dentist.

It was great to watch the teenagers work together to plan how they were going to present the books to the youth and what activities and games they were going to play with the kids. The book donation was one of six projects that were used to introduce Paraguayan youth at the camp to volunteer projects and community service. You can read a bit more about that camp in this post.

Cayendo Hacia Arriba inspired a group of Paraguayan youth to try out literacy service projects in their own communities and surely inspired new dreams in the children, youth and volunteers who read the book– nudging us all forward in our own process of falling uphill. Thank you, Scott!

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In Paraguay, the Peace Corp worked with a local youth group Jóvenes por Paraguay and Scott’s book “Cayendo Hacia Arriba” to help teach kids how to dream.

For more about Molly and her adventures visit her blog.

If you are interested in supporting another Make-A-Book Project consider making a donation by Paying it Forward.

If you’re interested in supporting another similar project, please visit the Peace Corps’ donation site.

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More stories about the making of Falling Uphill

Screen Shot infobae 2011 09 23

My most popular story in the Americas

Here is one of my most popular articles. It appeared in various forms in almost every country from Argentina all the way up to Canada. Quite probably millions of people saw this story.

A sign for Glacier Air tours Squamish, British Columbia

Learning how to fly

A story about my first flying lesson. My instructor was a stunt pilot and gave me one golden rule: “Don’t turn the plane upside down. It’s not designed for that.”

Screenshot of Cycle Now website and Falling Uphill book

Cycle Now interview

Here’s a Skype interview done by Rick Owens, a guy that is truly passionate about everything bicycles. With my experience in the world of websites and video, I can attest that he puts far more effort into these videos than is apparent.

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