When you passed some substantial time in South America, when you overcame the fear of uncertainty, you begin to look up and you will discover images that, as European, will make you think.
Of course there are different perspectives of liberalism and social security among those countries. Often though, social systems are built according to the USA, meaning that social services like medical examinations have to be paid completely by the patient. Many cannot effort this and have to cope with their fate as good as they can.
There are various scenes that I have watched firstly with consternation and then with admiration.
- A middle-aged man crossing a three-lane-street in La Paz. He does not have legs, nor a wheelchair, but his arms and hands wrapped in old towels. He would put his hands down to the asphalt and pull his entire body hard to slowly get forward. He needs 10 minutes, I stand in some distance and I do not know what to do. Nobody takes care of him, most would just overtake him, because it is normal. At least in Bolivia.
- A man in a wheelchair without legs sitting with his face close to a wall. He might be sleeping.
All take their live as it comes, without complaining. Day to day. The people ask me how it is in Germany. They cannot imagine such an amount of social care and insurances as you would find in central Europe. For us (the G20), there is really no way to complain in this context. The fight for social justice has just begun in these countries. Especially in Bolivia where politicians promote the building of roads, I got an image of how long it could take to reach what we have in central Europe. One must not forget that.