Friday, 12 July 2013


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Coordinates: 17°23′S 66°10′W / 17.383°S 66.167°W / -17.383; -66.167

Cochabamba Flag Coat of arms Nickname(s): "City of Eternal Spring" "The Garden City" "La Llajta" Cochabamba Location in Bolivia Coordinates: 17°23′S 66°10′W / 17.383°S 66.167°W / -17.383; -66.167 Country  Bolivia Department Cochabamba Province Cercado Province Municipality Cochabamba Municipality Founded August 15, 1571 Government  • Type Municipal Autonomous Government  • Mayor Edwin Castellanos Area  • City 170 km2 (70 sq mi)  • Land 169 km2 (65 sq mi)  • Water 1 km2 (0.4 sq mi)  • Urban 111 km2 (43 sq mi) Elevation 2,558 m (8,392 ft) Population (2008)  • Urban 608,276 Website Official website

Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban approximate population of 700,000 (2010) and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people. The name derives from a compound of the Quechua words qucha, meaning "lake", and pampa, "open plain". Residents of the city and surrounding areas are commonly referred to as Cochalas. Cochabamba is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" and "The Garden City" due to its spring-like temperatures year round. It is also known as "La Llaqta", "town" in Quechua.

The city is host to the first World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.


Palacio Portales built for mining magnate Simon Patiño Sarco Templo la Merced

The Cochabamba valley was inhabited for over a thousand years due to its fertile productive soils and climate. Archaeological evidence suggests that the initial inhabitants were of indigenous ethnic groups: Inca, Tupuraya, Mojocoya, Omereque, and Tiwanaku inhabited the valley at times before the Spanish arrived.

The first Spanish inhabitant of the valley was Garci Ruiz de Orellana in 1542. He purchased the majority of the land from local tribal chiefs Achata and Consavana through a title registered in 1552 at the Imperial City of Potosí. The price paid was 130 pesos. His residence, known as the House of Mayorazgo, stands in the Cala Cala neighbourhood.

The city, called Villa de Oropesa, was founded on 2 August 1571 by order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa. It was to be an agricultural production centre to provide food for the mining towns of the relatively nearby Altiplano region, particularly Potosí which became one of the largest and richest cities in the world during the 17th century — funding the vast wealth that ultimately made Spain a world power. With the silver mining industry in Potosi at its height, Cochabamba thrived during its first centuries. The city entered a period of decline during the 18th century as mining began to wane.

In 1786, King Charles III of Spain renamed the city to the 'loyal and valiant' Villa of Cochabamba. This was done to commend the city's pivotal role in suppressing the indigenous rebellions of 1781 in Oruro by sending armed forces to Oruro to quell the uprisings. Since the late 19th century it has again been generally successful as an agricultural centre for Bolivia.

The 1793 census shows that the city had a population of 22,305 persons. There were 12,980 mestizos, 6,368 Spaniards, 1,182 indigenous natives, 1,600 mulattos and 175 African slaves.

In 1900, the population was 21,886.

Besides a number of schools and charitable institutions, the diocese has 55 parishes, 80 churches and chapels, and 160 priests.

In 1999 and 2000, large-scale protests reversed the privatisation of the city's water supply.

In January 2007 city dwellers clashed with mostly rural protestors, leaving four dead and over 130 injured. The first democratically elected Prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, had allied himself with the leaders of Bolivia's Eastern Departments in a dispute with President Evo Morales over regional autonomy and other political issues. The protestors blockaded the highways, bridges, and main roads, having days earlier set fire to the departmental seat of government, trying to force the resignation of Reyes Villa. Citizens attacked the protestors, breaking the blockade and routing them, while the police did little to stop the violence. Further attempts by the protestors to reinstate the blockade and threaten the government were unsuccessful, but the underlying tensions have not been resolved.

In July 2007, a monument erected by veterans of January's protest movement in honour of those killed and injured by government supporters was destroyed in the middle of the night, reigniting racial conflicts in the city.

In August 2008, a nationwide referendum was held. The prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, was not confirmed by the voters of the department.


Cochabamba's famous "Eternal Spring" continues to hold sway over the hearts of true Cochalos. Neither experiencing the humid heat of Santa Cruz nor the frigid winds of La Paz, Cochabamba enjoys a semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSk). At 17° south of the Equator, tropical days are balanced by the cool of mountain nights. The characteristic of the climate is an extended dry season that runs from May until October with a wet season that generally begins in November with the principal rains ending in March.

Climate data for Cochabamba Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 35.0 (95) 30.0 (86) 30.6 (87.1) 30.0 (86) 28.9 (84) 30.0 (86) 28.3 (82.9) 30.6 (87.1) 30.6 (87.1) 32.8 (91) 31.7 (89.1) 32.8 (91) 35 (95) Average high °C (°F) 23.9 (75) 23.3 (73.9) 24.4 (75.9) 25.0 (77) 24.4 (75.9) 23.3 (73.9) 23.3 (73.9) 23.9 (75) 25.6 (78.1) 26.1 (79) 25.6 (78.1) 25.0 (77) 24.5 (76.1) Daily mean °C (°F) 18.1 (64.6) 17.5 (63.5) 17.5 (63.5) 16.4 (61.5) 14.2 (57.6) 12.2 (54) 12.5 (54.5) 13.9 (57) 16.7 (62.1) 18.1 (64.6) 18.3 (64.9) 18.3 (64.9) 16.1 (61) Average low °C (°F) 12.2 (54) 11.7 (53.1) 10.6 (51.1) 7.8 (46) 3.9 (39) 1.1 (34) 1.7 (35.1) 3.9 (39) 7.8 (46) 10.0 (50) 11.1 (52) 11.7 (53.1) 7.8 (46) Record low °C (°F) 7.2 (45) 3.3 (37.9) 2.2 (36) −1.1 (30) −4.4 (24.1) −6.7 (19.9) −5.0 (23) −5.6 (21.9) −3.3 (26.1) 0.0 (32) 5.0 (41) 5.6 (42.1) −6.7 (19.9) Precipitation mm (inches) 94.0 (3.701) 68.8 (2.709) 38.4 (1.512) 12.7 (0.5) 2.3 (0.091) 1.3 (0.051) 2.5 (0.098) 7.6 (0.299) 6.1 (0.24) 20.8 (0.819) 38.1 (1.5) 70.1 (2.76) 362.7 (14.28) Source: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial

People and culture

Distant view of Cochabamba's El Prado district

Currently, Cochabamba is among Bolivia's most economically and socially progressive cities. Commensurate with other large cities in the Andean highlands of South America, Cochabamba is a city of contrasts. Its central commercial districts, bounded by Plaza Colón and Plaza 14 de Septiembre, is generally equipped with modern urban amenities and is where the majority of the city's business and commercial industries are based. An active nightlife is centered around Calle España and along the broad, tree-lined boulevard, El Prado. In contrast, the remote area adjacent to the Wilstermann International Airport is visibly impoverished, with adobe homes and unpaved roads, which is often the first impression visitors acquire while commuting into the city.

The most widely spoken language in Cochabamba is Spanish. Although the Spanish that is spoken in the Cochabamba region is generally regarded as rather conservative in its phonetics and vocabulary, a few Quechua and Aymara terminology (guagua , papa ) have been incorporated into its standardized form.

As with most cities around the globe, English language is increasingly spoken and understood, particularly among business-minded indigenous and repatriated Cochabambinos. English-language instruction has become incorporated into Bolivian education from elementary to college levels.

The city's racial demographics consist of the following visible groups in order of prevalence: Western Hemispheric indigenous (mostly of Quechua ethnicity), Mestizo or mixed Indigenous, and a minority of white Caucasoid and mixed white (Criollos).


Cochabamba, formally the municipality of Cercado, is the capital of Cochabamba department. The city government is divided into executive and legislative branches. The mayor of Cochabamba is the head of the city government, elected by general election for a term of five years. The mayor heads an executive branch, which includes six sub-mayors and a variety of departments comprising 950 functionaries. The 11-member municipal council is the legislative branch.

The current mayor is Edwin Castellanos of the Movement Towards Socialism.


The area where Cochabamba is situated is commonly referred to as the granary of Bolivia. Its climate is milder than that of the Altiplano region to the west and thus permits extensive agriculture, including grains, potatoes, and coffee in the highlands and sugar cane, cocoa beans, tobacco, and fruit in the Chapare tropical lowlands, an area that had been one of the country's main coca-leaf-producing regions.

Cochabamba is also the industrial hub of Bolivia, producing cars, cleaning products, cosmetics, chemicals, and other items like cement. The economy of Cochabamba is characterized by produce goods and services.

The airline Boliviana de Aviación has its headquarters in Cochabamba. The defunct airline Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB Airlines) had its management offices on the grounds of Jorge Wilstermann Airport in Cochabamba. In Cochabamba construction has being rapidly increasing in the last couple of year with more than 750 construction sites per year.

Cochabamba is one of the main hubs for cocaine dealers in South America. In June 2012 the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo gained access to intelligence reports that showed that cocaine cartels were the economic force behind condominiums and real estate as well as industries such as meat processing.

Urban transport

The metropolitan area of Cochabamba (Vinto, Tiquipaya, Quillacollo, Colcapirhua, Cochabamba and Sacaba) has an extensive transportation system, which cover all the districts.

There are almost 70 bus and minibus lines, from A to Z, and dozens of minibuses and taxi lines trufis. Most lines have GPS system for monitoring and regulation of hour (line 1, line 16, line L, Line 3V, line 20, line 30, etc.). The service or commonly called T.RU.FI (taxi con ruta fija) has at least 60 lines; they are identified by signs on the roof of the vehicle showing the route from the initial stop until the final stop is also indicated line number to which it belongs.

The busiest bus lines are:

Line "Q" (CBBA-QLLO) Line "W" (CBBA-QLLO) Line "3V" Line "B" (Airport) Line "X-10" Line "36" Line "1" Line "30" Line "13" Line "Z-12" (CBBA-TIQUIPAYA)

And the busiest taxi trufi lines are:

Taxi Trufi "110" Taxi Trufi "260" (Cochabamba-Quillacollo Line) Taxi Trufi "270" (Cochabamba-Quillacollo Line) Taxi Trufi "103" (Green line and White Line) Taxi Trufi "106" (Tiquipaya Line) Taxi Trufi "130" (Circular) Taxi Trufi "209" (Circular) (Cochabamba-Quillacollo Line) Taxi Trufi "123" Taxi Trufi "224" (Sacaba Line) Taxi Trufi "240" (Sacaba Line) Taxi Trufi "244" (Sacaba Line) Taxi Trufi "115"

Basic services

Cochabamba account generally higher quality basic services in Bolivia, except, probably SEMAPA.

These companies are nationally recognized:

Comteco, a company dedicated to the public telephone service to national and district levels, also has Internet service, cable TV, and many others.

EMSA Municipal Sanitation Company, responsible for the pickup, transportation, storage and removed from urban waste produced. EMSA covers 88% of the city and collects 400 tonnes of waste are produced per day. Through the municipal government of Cochabamba, special containers made available throughout the city for the storage of solid waste common. The municipality's sole disposal facility, the K'ara K'ara waste dump (Botadero K'ara K'ara), has been the center of a long-running controversy over pollution of the air and groundwater; it is frequently blockaded by neighboring residents demanding changes.


Cochabamba, as a department with high turnover, have established many media including:

Print media

There are several newspapers in Cochabamba; there is also movement of national and international newspapers, highlighting the following:

Periódico Los Tiempos Diario Opinión Periódico La Voz Editorial Canelas S.A. - Gente Semanario Gente linda Radio stations

The main radio stations scattered across the department and the capital are:

Estrella FM 93,1 Centro Ltda. Mega DJ Milenio La Voz del Juno Kancha Parlaspa Bandera Tricolor Cochabamba Gaviota Dorada Del Valle San Rafael La Voz del Valle - Punata Continental Oro Triunfo Morena Epoca La Verdad F.M.100.7 M&D Comunicaciones Universal Fantástico 97.1 Panorama FM 90.9 Punata radio Panorama FM 88.9 FM-100 Clásica FM Stereo 98.7 – La voz de América Bethel FFM 95.5 Ritmo 97.5 La Triple Nueve 99.9 La Fabrica de la Musica 107.1 Magnal de Capinota Radios Fides Cochabamba, Punata y Chapare CEPRA Pongo Khasa 1,390 AM Sonido Lider 95.9 FM Sonido Lider Pio XII FM 97.9 Mundial Porvenir Radio Cosmos de Bolivia CEPRA - Centro de Producción Radiofónica CEPRA - Radio Morochota Enlace Television channels

In the capital and throughout the department there are many television channels that broadcast on a local, provincial, national or international all day or part of it. The transmission towers that transmit channels nationally and internationally are in the high Cala Cala, Villa Moscu or Villa Taquiña.

Canal 2: Corazón de América (local) Canal 4: Red ATB (national) Canal 5: Red Bolivisión (national) Canal 7: TVB (Channel of the State) Canal 9: Red Uno de Bolivia (national) Canal 11: TVU (local) Canal 13: Red Unitel (national) Canal 15: Cristo viene la Red (Religious Channel) Canal 18: Radio Televisión Popular (RTP) (national) Canal 20 - Piñami de Comunicaciones (provincial) Canal 21: Canal 21 (local) Canal 26: Metro TV (local) Canal 27 – Sistema Cristiano de Comunicaciones (local) Canal 24: Red ADVenir Internacional (Christian Channel/International) Canal 36: Cadena A (national) Canal 39: Univalle TV (local) Canal 42: Red PAT (national) Canal 48: Red Unitepc (local) Canal 51: MTV Cochabamba(local) Canal 57: RTL Canal de Noticias(local)


Universidad del Valle

The city is the home of the University of San Simón (UMSS, for "Universidad Mayor de San Simón"), one of the largest and most prominent public universities in Bolivia. UMSS is the second best university in Bolivia according to QS World University Rankings in 2013, but measured by the webmetric scores as first in 2013. The Universidad Católica Boliviana "San Pablo" and several smaller private universities such as the Universidad Privada Boliviana, Universidad del Valle, Universidad de Aquino Bolivia and others are here. Cochabamba became the second recipient city of Brazilians student in Bolivia after the city of Santa Cruz due to the affordable and good living conditions.

Cochabamba is home of the Maryknoll Language Institute (Centro Misionero Maryknoll). The Maryknoll Mission Center provides basic courses in Spanish, Aymará and Quechua as well as advanced levels of the languages. The primary purpose of the Maryknoll Mission Center is to prepare Catholic missionary personnel for contemporary mission in Latin America other parts of the world. The institute accepts candidates from other churches as well as those who have a serious commitment of service to Latin America.


Cochabamba is served by the modern Jórge Wilstermann International Airport (IATA code CBB), which handles domestic and international flights. It houses the headquarters of Boliviana de Aviación (BOA) Bolivia's national airline and Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano, Bolivia's former national airline. TAM Mercosur and Aerosur are two airlines that service this airport.


Cochabamba is a steadily emerging market within the Bolivian real estate industry. Since 2010, it became the city with most surface area in construction in Bolivia overpassing Santa Cruz and La Paz. There are many middle and large buildings under construction by 2012. An annual mild climate, abundant greenery, mountain vistas, and a progressive local economy are factors that have contributed to the city's appeal for Bolivian nationals, expatriates and foreigners alike. Historic and affluent neighbourhoods such as Cala Cala, El Mirador, and Lomas de Aranjuez showcase some of the city's most distinguished residences.

Queru Queru - North La Recoleta - North Cala Cala - North Lomas de Aranjuez - North El Mirador - North Las Brisas - North Sarco - Northwest Mayorazgo - Northwest Barrio Profesional - Northwest America Oeste - Northwest Colquiri - Northwest Muyurina - Northeast Tupuraya - Northeast Cochabamba Valley, Dec. 1987 Hippodromo - West Villa Busch - West Temporal - North La Chimba - Southwest Aeropuerto - Southwest Ticti Norte - Fringe North Jaihuayco - South Zona sud - South Ticti - South Valle Hermoso - South

Metropolitan area

The city is connected with the next towns and cities:

Quillacollo Sacaba Vinto Colcapirhua Tiquipaya Cliza Tarata Punata

Additional notes of interest

Cochabamba is also mentioned in the documentary The Corporation, about their fight against privatisation of water by a foreign-owned company. The people protested against this and won. The privatisation had gone to such an extent that even rain water was not allowed to be collected. Read Cochabamba protests of 2000. A MasterCard commercial depicting the world switching from a competitor's credit card to MasterCard all over the world ends with the competitor saying that he still has Cochabamba, which ends up switching to MasterCard anyway. Cochabamba has been confirmed to be the seat of a future South American Parliament when it is formed by UNASUR. UNASUR has yet to determine what the composition of the Parliament will be, but existing treaties all agree it will meet in Cochabamba. Cochabamba was the first place rugby union in Bolivia was formally established. Cochabamba was featured as a location in the story in the 1983 film, Scarface. Powerful drug lord Alejandro Sosa resided there, governed large coca plantations and owned cocaine labs where upon further refining, would be shipped to Tony Montana in Florida. Cochabamba is the setting of the 2010 movie También la lluvia (Even the rain), which takes place during the water war of 2000. It depicts a team making a movie about the colonization of Latin America, when the protests against privatization arise. The star is Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, and the film has received good criticism.

Cochabambino migration

Historically, Cochabamba has been a destination for many Bolivians due to relatively improved economic opportunities and a more temperate climate. Bolivia's current President Evo Morales and ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada were both Senators representing Cochabamba, although they were born in Oruro and La Paz respectively and immigrated to Cochabamba at the start of their political careers.

After the road to the eastern city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra was completed in the 1950s, thousands of Cochabambinos migrated to the lowlands and permanently settled. Many Cochabambino migrants and their descendants now identify themselves as Cambas after absorbing the regional Bolivian culture of the eastern lowlands, but maintain familiar ties with relatives that remained in Cochabamba.

A large population of Bolivian and Bolivian-descended residents is in the Greater Washington, D.C.-Baltimore–Northern Virginia area of United States (2005 US Census estimates 27,452 +/- 8,883 Bolivians for DC, Virginia, and Maryland); the highest concentration is in Arlington County, Virginia. These figures may represent a census undercount of undocumented Bolivian alien residents. These combined communities have become the centre for recent and established Bolivian immigrants, most of whom are from the department and city of Cochabamba, hence, locally regarded as Little Cochabamba or Arlibamba. Little Cochabamba contains Bolivian-cuisine restaurants and the Escuela Bolivia; a school-within-a-school programme for children and adults.

After to the mid-1990s, many low-income Cochabambinos emigrated to Bergamo, Italy in search of work. Most of the 16,400 (2005 estimate) Bolivians in Bergamo are from Cochabamba, which includes both legal and work visa-expired immigrants. This migration is due to the strong relationship between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bergamo and the Archdiocese of Cochabamba.

Notable residents

Business people Simón Iturri Patiño (1862–1947), mining magnate Educators and Intellectuals Jaime Escalante, professor and teacher whose life was dramatized in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver Renato Prada Oropeza, professor, semiologist, writer Musicians Edwin Arturo Castellanos Mendoza (b. 1966), musician, artist, politician, Mayor of Cochabamba (2010 - 2015 term) Jaime Laredo, (b. 1941), classical violinist Teófilo Vargas Candia (1866–1961), musician and composer,

author of the Cochabamba Hymn

Los Kjarkas (since 1965) Cochabambino folk music group, an exemplar of Bolivian traditional music, performers and authors of the famous song "Llorando se Fue", which has been covered internationally Literary figures Nataniel Aguirre (1843–1888), author. Guido Ernesto Cabrerizo (1954), author and poet. Adela Zamudio (1874–1925), author and poet, a strong defender of women's rights Jesús Lara (1898–1975), author and poet Ramon Rocha Monroy (1950-), author, journalist Gaby Vallejo Candia (1841), author, professor of Literature Edmundo Paz Soldán - author Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz (1931–1980), author and prominent politician Javier del Granado (1913–1996), poet laureate Renato Prada Oropeza (1937–2011), novelist and poet Oscar Unzaga de la Vega (1916–1959), journalist and historian

Sister cities

Belfast, United Kingdom Córdoba, Argentina Viedma, Argentina Caracas, Venezuela Arica, Chile San Francisco, USA Miami, USA Almería, Spain Bergamo, Italy Nantes, France Kunming, Yunnan, China Cabuyao City, Philippines

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