Tag Archive: Cochabamba

Goodbye Cochabamba!

Wow – we only left Cochabamba a little over a week ago, but it already feels longer than that!  We really enjoyed our month in Cochabamba – it was a bit hard to leave what felt a bit like “home”. We got into a really nice routine over the month that we were there and really enjoyed the organizations that we volunteered with.  Here we are at the office with the Fundacion Bosques Director, Bonnie.

Picture with Bonnie

Bonnie even took us on a field trip out into the mountains to an area they work in – and it was beautiful!

Field Trip

I got to brush up on my sewing skills to help out one of our housemates with a Feminine Hygiene project she was doing for her organization – she held a pad making party and I got to try my hand at making a belted pad!

Pad Construction

We’ll definitely miss the social aspect too – we met so many cool people and it was fun living with 6 other housemates – well, 7 if you count Bruno the dog.


We’ll also miss walking around the city. I can’t even count the times that we walked 30 minutes north of our house to the Recoleta neighborhood to poke around or to enjoy the more diverse food offerings.

Recoleta Strip


Kebab Dinner



Cochabamba Food

Sorry about the recent slow down on posting – since we settled in Cochabamba, we haven’t been as great about taking our camera out with us since we’ve been on “living here” mode vs “tourist” mode.  We head out of Cochabamba on Tuesday and are planning on being tourists for the next few days before we leave, so we will definitely have some more pictures of this city we’ve been living in coming soon.  Also – make sure to check out our updated itinerary page for where we are headed next!

We have been living in a house right across from a university here and one of the great things about living so close to all these students, is really cheap eats.  Food here is really inexpensive anyway (Brandon has been eating fried chicken, rice and french fries for lunch 4 times a week because it only costs $1.15!) but even more so from all the street stalls and carts that ring the university.

Street by University

Food Stalls

Here are some of the popular street foods that we’ve been eating and about what they cost in U.S. dollars.

$.30 Giant Doughnuts

Brandon and Doughnut


$.50 Pastel (giant fried pastry with a little cheese in it, sprinkled with powdered sugar).  There’s a lady on our corner who sets up a little restaurant on the street every morning and only sells pastels and juices.

Pastel Stand


$.50 Papa Rellena (potatoes stuffed with meat, cheese, veggies and fried – many times served with salad so I can pretend it’s healthy)

Erin with Papa Rellena


$.30 – $1 Empañadas/Salteñas (fried or baked pastry filled with a variety of things from just cheese to meat, veggies and cheese)


$.80 Trancapecho (heart attack sandwich – deep fat fried meat, deep fat fried egg, rice, carrots, french fries, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise all stuffed in a giant bun)


If you haven’t noticed already, there is a lot of fried food here!  There are some healthy options though.  There are vendors selling fruit (especially giant pineapple slices) on most corners.

$.45 Fresh Squeezed OJ



$.85 Fruit and Yogurt Salad

Fruit Salad

Similar to many of the other South American cities, there are a few grocery stores but most of the produce is sold in open air markets.  We frequent two different ones here – one that is actually indoors called 25 de Mayo and another HUGE outdoor one called La Cancha.  For the most part, produce here is even cheaper than Ecuador.  Here’s a recent produce haul from La Cancha and the prices:

Market trip in Cochabamba

  • 12 Bananas $.85
  • Bag of tomatoes ~12 $.70
  • Pineapple $.45
  • Huge zucchini $.30
  • 2 eggplants $.70
  • Bag of peppers ~10 $.30
  • Bag of small red onions ~15 $.70

Total Price $4

Or if you are too lazy to even go to the market, every morning a man selling produce rolls a cart around our neighborhood selling oranges and bananas.

Fruit Cart


Pedestrian Day in Cochabamba

Today was the Day of the Pedestrian (Día del Peatón) here in Cochabamba.  Apparently 4 times a year the city declares a ban on driving to encourage the citizens to get outside and walk or bike around.  Sundays are usually pretty slow around here (and in every other South American city we’ve visited) with many businesses closed and not too many people out and about.  But not today!  There were so many people out enjoying the weather and traffic-less city.

Empty Streets

Cristo and Empty Streets

In the center of town there was a festival going on with lots of vendors and different activities. When the sun was out, it was pretty warm and there was a water truck on hand cooling down the crowd.

Around the Park

Exercise Activity

Relaxing in the Park

After walking around the festival for a while, we met up with a group of people from Sustainable Bolivia and relaxed and snacked in the shade.  If only every Sunday was like this one!






What have we been doing {Cochabamba edition}

We have been in Cochabamba, Bolivia for 2 weeks now with 2 more to go.  Since I’m guessing most people have never heard of Cochabamba before (I hadn’t until 3 weeks before we got here!), here’s where it is:

cochabamba map copy

Cochabamba is the 4th largest city is Bolivia and the weather here is awesome.  The city is known for having an “Eternal Spring” , and since we have arrived, everyday has been sunny with highs in the low/mid 70’s.  We ended up in Cochabamba because we decided that we wanted to volunteer for a month somewhere and after a couple of days of searching, ended up finding an organization called Sustainable Bolivia.  Sustainable Bolivia organizes opportunities and housing for volunteers in Cochabamba and they work with 30-some different Bolivian nonprofits.

We are working with a non-profit called Fundación Bosques.  They have several different projects in the Cochabamba area – one that works with children who have to work to provide for their families and two projects that are trying to create sustainable sources of income for poorer rural communities in the mountains so that they can start providing more basic services (like water) to their citizens.  Brandon is redoing their website and I’m helping them build a budget for one of the projects.  I’m also helping out at another organization called DECOOPSO that helps run 6 cooperatives in the area that employ poor and marginalized people.  I’m working with a few other volunteers to get them up and running on an accounting system.

We’ve been really enjoying out time here so far.  We’re living in a house with 6 other volunteers (most also from the U.S.) and Sustainable Bolivia has a lot of organized activities – it’s almost like being in college again and living in the dorms!

There’s a hill in town with the largest Jesus statue in the world (even larger than Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro) on it that Brandon and I hiked up the first weekend. Its name is ‘Cristo de la Concordia’.  In the background of this picture, you can see the hill with Cristo at the top.

Cristo in the distance

The hike up was actually harder than we thought it would be, but the views were great!

B&E above the city

Cochabamba View

There were also some cable cars that you could take up and down, although we hiked it both ways.

Cable cars

Brandon and Cristo

We actually got to climb up inside the Cristo statue for even higher views through the holes in the statue.  The mountains that surround the city are beautiful and it’s on our bucket list before we leave to go hiking and exploring up in the hills.

View from in Cristo

Cristo Up Close