Welcome to the heart of Bolivia
Cochabamba is one of nine Departments in Bolivia and is known as El corazon de la madre tierra “the heart of Bolivia” for its location at the very the center of the country and for the vibrant customs and traditions of the locals. It is also known for its spectacular geographical diversity including Amazonian jungles, subtropical mountains, and fertile highland valleys. Cochabamba’s tropical and valley regions produce the majority of Bolivia’s food supply and this diversity of foods has given Cochabamba its place as the bread basket and gastronomical capital of Bolivia.
The locals or Cochabambinos are a humble and traditional people, whose customs are rooted in the indigenous Quechua culture. The Quechua communities are an integral part of Cochabamba, and make up a majority of the population. Food and language are an important part of the local culture. The local cuisine is a source of pride and unites all Cochabambinos, and will be eagerly shared with any outside visitor. Similarly the Quechua language also binds the locals together and continues to be part of the daily lexicon.
The Department’s namesake capital city, Cochabamba City, where Adelante Bolivia´s central offices are located has an estimated population of over one million and is the third largest city in Bolivia. Cochabamba City´s recent growth has put great strains on the city’s resources, most notably water, and in 2000 a violent conflict known as the “water war” broke out as a consequence to the privatization of the water supply. The city and the Department of Cochabamba continue to battle with issues of decreasing resources and widespreasd poverty, however communities are beginning to work together with organizations like Adelante Bolivia, to devise sustainable solutions.