Bolivia is a beautiful landlocked country in South America, home to the Andes Mountains, Amazonian rainforests, and Lake Titicaca. With 37 official languages and one of the largest indigenous populations on the continent, Bolivia has deep cultural roots and celebrations. GESI students work in and around the city of Cochabamba, the third-largest city in Bolivia.
Foundation for Sustainable Development
GESI students are placed in local NGOs through the Foundation for Sustainable Development. The urban environment provides many opportunities to dive in and address some of Bolivia’s most pressing issues like education, women’s rights, political activism, poverty rights, and NGO management.
Cochabamba has an especially vibrant history of grassroots activism, with long fights against corruption, most famously the Water War protests over the privatization of water. Nearly 9,000 feet above sea level, Cochabamba is a bustling, diverse city. While Spanish is spoken throughout the country, GESI students will also hear many indigenous languages as they move around the city or go on excursions. Nicknamed the “the Eternal Spring” and the “Garden City,” Cochabamba has a pleasant year-round climate and is known for some of the best cuisine in Bolivia.
THE COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE.
Bolivian host families are often large and multigenerational. It’s not uncommon for students in Bolivia to meet the entire extended family, attend a wedding, or be invited on weekend trips with their host families.