Cochabamba

Cochabamba
Bolivia

Valley Region

  • Though the Bolivian valley region has the best weather in the country, people often migrate to other countries in search of work. Bolivia Valley community
  • The Compassion-assisted child development center is a refuge for many children whose parents work. Bolivia Valley compassion
  • Through a commitment to education, children will have a tool they need to grow up into healthy, self-sufficient adults. Bolivia Valley education
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Bolivia Valley boy reading
  • A woman weaves a tapestry with the rich colors typical of Bolivian weavings and clothing. Bolivia Valley woman weaving tapestry
  • Children receive nutritious meals at the center, while at home they usually only have one meal per day. Bolivia Valley girls eating
  • Many valley residents raise livestock such as sheep to eat as well as sell. They use the wool to make clothing as well. Bolivia Valley sheep herding
 
BOLIVIA OVERVIEW

Population

10,631,486

Religion

Roman Catholic

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Bolivia’s Valley Region

The people of Bolivia’s verdant valley region face a host of challenges invisible to visitors who flock here for the paradise-like climate and dramatic scenery. Issues include:

  • water shortages, social unrest, and some of the highest poverty rates in South America
  • a punishing drought
  • rising food prices which force families to cut back even more
  • expensive propane used for cooking; many families have switched to firewood
  • widespread malnutrition
COMMUNITY
Issues and Concerns
  • Hunger is an issue for many families.
  • Nearly 30 percent of children under 3 are malnourished.
  • Children in the valley region are especially susceptible to tuberculosis and Chagas disease, an infection that can cause fatal brain-swelling in infants and is passed from mother to child during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Local Needs and Challenges

Clean water

In hilly areas, water trucks can’t reach the houses, and families have to carry water home in buckets.

Housing

Homes are crowded; often entire families share one small room.

Family stability

One of every two marriages ends in divorce in the valley region. Many children do not live with their parents, who have moved to different cities or other countries to find jobs.

Broken families are common, and many children are raised by their mothers alone.

Gang activity is on the rise as youths look for someone to take care of them and meet their needs.