Esperança in Bolivia
Esperança has been working in southern Bolivia with our partner Esperanza Bolivia since 1986 in the
Department of Tarija and surrounding regions. In this South American nation, with diverse indigenous populations and extreme changes in climate, we work to improve the health of Bolivian families through improved housing, health education and training to prevent maternal and infant mortality, disease prevention for diseases like Chagas disease, malaria, and projects to improve agricultural practices.
Esperança’s work is accomplished through the training of local community leaders, government leaders, teachers, health professionals, and families. We take a multi-level approach to reaching communities with the belief that providing education and capacity-building at various levels will bring sustainable change with the programs and health issues that we are trying to address.
Bolivia is a multicultural and multilingual country, where most of its 10 million inhabitants are either of mixed descent, or part of 37 ethnic groups that are officially recognized. Due to this cultural diversity and diverse geographic regions, reaching families can be difficult. Roads are poor and when they exist, can be dangerous. There are high rates of poverty, high rates of illiteracy and low education rates. Homes are made from thatched roofs and mud walls, which create unsafe conditions for disease and illness.
Our programming to improve the health of Bolivian families includes:
- Building culturally-appropriate homes that transform entire communities in order to prevent Chagas disease, diarrheal diseases and respiratory illness
- Trains hundreds of community health workers on important health issues affecting their villages such as maternal and infant mortality, Chagas disease, and malaria
- Helps families learn agricultural practices that will improve their nutrition and help make an income by introducing native crops like quinoa back into the community
More from our Bolivian programs