He makes no effort to hide his emotions.
The day we meet, he is pledging half of his monthly salary - $950 - to help
Cynics will say this latest action is an attempt to divert attention away from political discord at home.
But Mr Morales,
"The way I see it, it's impossible to change things without encountering resistance," he shrugs.
Mr Morales is wearing a black wool jacket with a strip of traditional embroidery.
His thick, shiny fringe slumps over tired eyes.
We are in a long hall, furnished with gilded mirrors and lavish dressers, in the presidential palace.
Just over 18 months ago, he was on the outside shouting and blocking streets to get heard.
Now, he is hammering away at a controversial programme of social change from the inside.
Within months of his taking up office, he put the energy industry under state control - foreign firms were given six months to sell at least 51% of their holding and negotiate new contracts, or leave.
Nationalisation sent tremors through the energy sector, but Mr Morales insists it is making
"We are starting a process of decolonisation in
But for the country to profit from its rich oil and mineral reserves, it needs to attract foreign investment.
Analysts say poor infrastructure and Mr Morales's radical policies have deterred investors.
Even he admits the first year was disappointing, in terms of securing foreign investment, but he says
He is putting pressure on gas companies already operating in
"I am not saying we will expel a company from the country," he says.
"They may carry on working, but as the owners of the natural resources, we will have to recover what is needed to deliver the investment the company should have delivered."
Mr Morales is hardly your average politician, having spent years defending the traditional use of the coca leaf at a grass-roots level.
These days, he fights for coca on a diplomatic front, pushing for a change in international law so that
Mr Morales says
"If the law is harsh on the coca leaf, why isn't it harsh on consumers of cocaine?" he asks.
"Governments must face up to the problem of secret banking," he says, hands outstretched.
"Secret bank accounts are for laundering dirty money. Heads of state at the UN should put an end them. That would be the best way of tracking down the drugs traffickers."
When the president talks about
When asked if he is his replacing what he calls "North American imperialism" with Venezuelan imperialism, Mr Morales retorts:
According to Mr Morales, this is what is lacking from the
"Right from the start, they said this little Indian is only going to be president for three or four months," he says.
"That day passed and now they say this little Indian is going to be here for a long time, we have to do something about it; and that means encouraging confusion or destabilisation."
The destabilisation he refers to is a regional campaign to move the executive and legislative branches of power from
The issue has caused gridlock in the assembly set up by Mr Morales to draft a new constitution.
There have been hunger strikes and mass demonstrations, and with eastern and southern regions now supporting the move to
Is the assembly in jeopardy? "I have a lot of hope for the Constituent Assembly," Mr Morales says.
"If it fails, if it closes, it will be exactly because of the people who do not want the rules changed, who do not want a cultural revolution, or to lose their privileges."
"When we get it wrong, we get it wrong. Who doesn't get it wrong?" he says.
"The issue is recognising our mistakes, and that is where we have a great advantage; above all it is in our honesty."
First published at BBC News