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The Cochabamba area has been inhabited for quite some time because of its fertile soils, and a very calm climate. It is also known as the “Garden City”. This is because of the temperate climate all year around. This is the fourth largest city in Bolivia. Natives or residents from the city are referred to as “Cochalas”.
The government has both executive and legislative branches. The economy relies on the production of grains, coffee, sugar cane, potatoes, cocoa beans, fruit and tobacco. They also have industrial productions making cars, cleaning products, chemicals and even cement.
Snapshot of Bolivia – Bolivia has 37 official languages, the most dominant being Spanish. Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani are the next-most prevalent languages. Portuguese is also spoken in areas close to Brazil. Bolivia’s population is primarily Roman Catholic (though many mix their Catholic beliefs with indigenous practices), though Protestantism is increasing. Bolivia’s culture is greatly influenced by the many indigenous ethnic groups within its borders, particularly the Quechua and Aymara. Traditional clothing and dancing is still seen at many festivities, many of which mix Christian and indigenous practices. The Carnaval de Oruro is considered one of the most important cultural festivities. Traditional culture is also seen in the many types of folk music present in Bolivia. Other Latin music styles are also popular in the country. Soccer is Bolivia’s most popular sport, and table soccer (also known as fussball) is a popular game. Lunch is the most important meal in Bolivia, and is often followed by a siesta, or nap. Lunch generally includes a soup, a main course that includes rice, potatoes, and a meat dish, followed by a dessert. Popular dishes include locro (a stew made from corn, beef, beans, and potato), pique macho (a plate of beef, sausage, boiled eggs, and french fries), and anticuchos (shish-kebabs that are popular with street vendors, often made with chicken hearts).
We are still collecting information on the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
They eat a lot of potatoes, corn and beef. They also are accustomed to eat a lot of rice and beans. It is a meal that is fed to the missionaries often because it is easy to make, it is affordable, and it gives proper nutrients for a lot of walking or physical exercise.
They use a bus system and have “bus lines” from A-Z. They also have many taxis. People mainly walk and use the bus system. Missionaries can also get rides in cars from members, following the rules of the missionary handbook.
The city has plenty of Pagan dances and worshiping services. This comes from their Hispanic/Catholic roots. They also are very food minded, in that bolivian cuisine is very important to them. There is some influence from the native tribes of the Andes
You will need Sunscreen, and durable shoes. You should be prepared for brisk but not extremely cold weather. It also gets very hot. Two pairs of shoes are recommended, because the rain is abundant, and one pair can dry at the apartment, while the other is being used that day.
Casilla de Correo 1375
Straight from the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“Peanut butter, cereal, hygiene products, good chocolate, bug spray, and so on and so forth!!!”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Rice, small amounts of meat, potatoes, yuka, chicken”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Marrow sucked out of chicken feet”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“What a novelty white people were and how much all the children loved us.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission?
“Be open to new and different things along with friendly and nonjudgemental and the people will love you!”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I wish I had known the gospel better.”