Meet five children and their four-legged friends
Let's step into a world of innocence, adventure, and joy where children's imaginations fly as they speak about their pets.
In a small community called Cutini, in the high plateaus of La Paz – Bolivia, surrounded by tall, snowed-covered mountains and fields, children live close to some unusual four-legged pets they call their friends.
Amidst the business of the agricultural community, five children find companionship and happiness in spending time with their pets. Let’s meet the children and their furry friends!
Eight-year-old Luz Clara with her calf Flor.
Eight–year–old Luz Clara introduces us to her calf.
“I want to tell you about my little calf Flor (Flower). When I untie her, she always jumps around with me. When I'm sad or happy, she is always beside me because I give her barley, bran and water. She gets very happy, and I do too,” says Luz Clara.
Cows can be good pets when a child lives in the countryside. Cows provide milk, and in this region, families make cheese.
Luz Clara shares that she has three calves, but the three-month-old Flor is her favourite.
Five year old Bayoleth with her dog Chiqui.
Bayoleth is five years old—she shares about her dog Chiqui.
Dogs are common pets in the region. They are used for herding livestock or for protection.
“I have four dogs: Chiqui, Miky Piky, and Oso (Bear). My favourite is Chiqui—Miky doesn't have one eye, but I still love him.
With Chiqui, I jump rope, and he obeys me. He eats kibble, I bathe him, and he sleeps in my bed. I love him. He has been with me since he was tiny, and he just wants us to cuddle him,” says Bayoleth.
Angela, 3, with her baby llama.
Three-year-old Angela, has a two-month-old baby llama as a pet.
"My llama likes to eat barley and drink water, and I like to play with him. I named him Rufo. My mum and I graze him with my cow, and he doesn't run away."
Llamas are typical of the high plateaus, primarily used for their wool. Even though Rufo is double her size, he is docile and gentle with Angela. Angela loves to play with him and hug them all the time.
Ikher and Esmeralda with their lambs.
Ikher (5) and Esmeralda (7) with their lambs.
Sheep are also common in the region; they are docile and have a gentle nature. These siblings have two sibling sheep as pets.
Ikher shares, "My lamb's name is Henry. I feed him barley and give him water. I like to play "Catchers" with him. I touch him, and then he catches me. We also play "Hide-and-Seek." First, I hide, and then he finds me, then he hides."
Esmeralda says: "My lamb's name is Esperenzita (Little Hope); she is pretty. I feed her; I give her water, barley, and grass and take her to graze up or down the hill. I play catching her.
Herding, shearing, feeding, petting, and just playing with their pets help children learn about animal husbandry and responsibility. They understand the importance of agriculture but also foster a sense of responsibility, empathy, and love toward animals.
At the Compassion Centre, children learn that they are administrators of God's creation and that He teaches us to care for our animals.
Children learn compassion as they take care of another living being. With pets next to them, children's lives are filled with laughter, happiness, and endless snuggles!