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A guide to Buena Vista and San José de Chiquitos

21 Jan

This route is completely off the beaten path and this time, it’s the road less traveled for a reason.

The Lonely Planet claim that San José “merits a visit even if you miss all the others”?  Bullocks!  The reaction I got when I told locals that I went to San José was one of bewilderment. Apparently, San Xavier and then Concepción is the recommended route; not only is less travel time but the transportation is much easier, contrary to Lonely Planet reports.  San José can be seen in less than 2 hours and though there is a scenic outlook atop a 3-hr hill climb, it’s much too hot and humid to do anything but splay in your hotel room with the fan on.  They do make good textiles though, cotton-woven purses made from looms, but I hear that the artesanías in Concepción are much more interesting.  The “neighorhood of artisans” marked on the tourist map is nothing more than private houses, but the women inside are incredibly friendly and willing to show you how they weave.  All of the people I met in San José are incredibly nice, from the hotel owner to the tourist agency to the people working inside the church to the salteña vendor.  When I arrived from Buena Vista with a warty hand of mosquito bites, the tourist agency gave me medicine.  When I got burnt badly by a too-hot salteña, the church tour guide rushed off to find burn medicine.  When I returned to tell the salteña vendor that his salteñas were too hot, he took me out to lunch and showed me around the town.  Apparently, gasoline is smuggled to Brazil from here and hence, they also sell it in 2-liter coke-bottles!

Buena Vista is the launch point for more interesting Parque Amboro sites than you can see from Semaipata.  However, because there are not many tourists here (I was the only one there at the time) and because the drive is much muddier and longer, the price for a tour is steeper, around $100/day and you will want a minimum of 2 days.  Although I did not go on the tour, I had a thoroughly good time, visiting the Buena Vista coffee plantation (alledgedly the largest coffee exporter in Bolivia and they supply base beans for Starbucks), accidently eating some species in low population (in my defense, a referred friend recommended the dishes to me!  And they told me that the jochi was a kind of pig, so I really thought that there were a lot of them out there and did not know that they breed only one youngin once a year), and going bird-watching/hiking in the 43-hectare forest plot of land adjacent to that of famed birdologist Robin Clarke. I caught ticks in the end, the effects of which I’m still feeling one month later, but I hear that all forests have ticks, even in Rurrenabaque.  In an update, if you got bitten by ticks here, you will probably not have Lyme Disease.  I got myself tested and it was negative.  Phew!

After bees got stuck for 5 minutes in my humidity-inflamed hair.

José's adorable son, Andreas

Trip Details:

Buena Vista

  • Transportation:  From Cochabamba, you can take the bus to Santa Cruz and ask to be dropped off at Buena Vista.  They will drop you off at a gasoline station and from there it is only a 5-block walk straight down to hit the main plaza.
  • Lodging: La Casona is nice and cheap but there are no locks on the doors. I stayed at Residencial Nadia which was quite comfortable and included a private bathroom.
  • Guides: I left my notebook of numbers and names at home, so forgive me for being vague.  A good guide for Parque Amboro is the large office on the corner, right opposite to the Internet/telefone place on the corner and on the same street as Residencial Nadia.  There is large advertisement of Robin Clarke’s lodging in the office and tons of pictures.  The owner is exceptionally nice and polite to the whole town.  If you’re looking to do a little birdwatching, José is an excellent guide and man.  He is very knowledgable in tree and bird species and not only can easily identify all birds by their calls, but he can scout one out for you.  The only possible downside is that he has an extremely cute and adorable 3-year old son who, being an adorable kid, can make a bit of racket in the forest and scare away wildlife.  But in the fall, a lot of birds and toucans stop by José’s house.  He has also built a comfortable guest house and will prepare you meals gladly.  José is German and speaks Spanish and no English.  A 3-hr tour will cost about Bs.70.  His email address is:
  • Coffee Plantation: Hacienda El Cafetal is one of the highlights of Buena Vista., especially if you’re interested in seeing how coffee is cultivated.  It’s not the best coffee in Bolivia, due to the sandy soil (In fact the company produces most of its coffee in the Yungas and keeps the plantation in Buena Vista for tours.)  You can call the office from Buena Vista and they will pick you up.

San José de Chiquitos

  • Transportation: You can take the 6-hr train from Santa Cruz.  Normal class is Bs.22 while first class is Bs.50.   Impressively and unlike the rest of Bolivia, there is plenty of food offered for sale on this ride.  You will not go hungry.
  • Lodging: Hotel Turubó is highly recommended.  Not only is the owner extremely nice, but so are the rooms and it is about Bs.70 for a single with a private bath.  (less pricey than what Lonely Planet mentions).  I accidently left my external harddrive here and they recovered it and shipped it to Santa Cruz.
  • Hospital: In case you have funkiness stemming from the jungle in Buena Vista, there is a nice hospital and clinic located here.  Except it is only open for appointments around 3 p.m. but you have to show up at 1:30 p.m. to get a ticket for the appointment.

A guide to Uyuni

18 Jan

Uyuni, Bolivia’s signature attraction, is the largest salt-flat in the world and probably the only natural resource which Bolivia has managed to not lose to its neighbors.  Depending if your source is the Bolivia government or international experts, the salt flats also hold 33% or 50% of the world’s lithium supply, which is under plans to be extracted soon without the help of North Korea, China, or any foreign companies or experts.

Much like what I felt when I saw Rome, I felt a bit underwhelmed when I finally made the trip, after 10 months of being in Bolivia.  People idealize the place.  The photos idealize the place. Its beauty really depends when you see it.  Although there is a risk of your car getting stuck, the rainy season is the best, though horribly cold.  Compare this gorgeous rainy-season photo which I stole from a friend to when I went:

Me running with troll hair and tummy showing...v.Sports Illustrated-like!

The Journey From Cochabamba:  Trip Details

  1. The Lonely Planet Guide from 2010 is spot on, except for the lecture about the dangers of being cheap.  All the tours are really the same.
  2. I took the 10:30 a.m. bus from Cocha to Oruro on Friday, arriving in Oruro at 3:00 p.m. (always allow a hour more than what the bus operators tell you the arrival time will be) and caught the 3:30 Expreso del Sur train to Uyuni just in time.  The ride was quite comfortable, not cold at all!  Btw, it is possible to turn your chairs around to face the direction that the train is going.  There’s a dining cabin on the train, though pricey, average meal ~Bs.30.  Bus ticket to Oruro: Bs.25.; Second-class ticket train ticket: Bs. 56.
  3. The train arrived in Uyuni at 11:00 p.m.  and I holed up in Hotel Avenida for the night, which was excellently clean (no electricity sockets though) and a block away from the train station.  I’m usually afraid of entering towns at night, but there’s a ton of people surrounding you from the train and tour agencies accosting you at night, so safety in numbers.  There is cell-phone reception on the train, so I made a reservation for Hotel Avenida ahead of time, though there were a few vacancies still left this time of the year.  One night at Hotel Avenida with a shared bathroom but single room: Bs.30.  Shampoo: Bs.2; Note: you can buy only showers at Hotel Avenida which is useful coming back from the trip in between the hours before taking a night-bus to the next destination.  Bs. 10.
  4. Trying to decide between tour agencies:  This may be tough to do because everyone will tell you small lies and they will also tell you that the other agency is lying.  The best way is to find some people who have just gotten back from the trip and ask them how it was.  Usually trips come back around 3-5 p.m.
  5. There are rarely any 4-day trips to Tupiza.
  6. Tour Agency:  Oasis was excellent.  Ask for Omar, the driver.  It is a bit pricier than other agencies (Bs.700 vs. Bs. 560) and the difference is the food, though they will tell you that they go on a different route than other people (this is not particularly true.)  Also, the credit card machine does not really work; bring cash. You can ask to see a copy of the menú.  I remember we were eating chicken milanese while others were eating canned tuna.  And Omar does not get drunk or isn’t late, which is what happened to a few other agencies along our trip.  But you may want to bring a USB of your music, as Omar is a fan of the Backstreet Boys.  Omar does not speak English.
  7. The Cold:  Not too bad!  At least in December, in the summer.  The first night was perfectly warm inside a salt hotel, which had a shower that cost Bs.10.  The second night was a bit chillier (I woke up time to time from the cold and might have gone into a fetal position), but bearable inside a more shack-like hotel without a shower.  I didn’t use a sleeping bag.  Recommend to bring:  a windbreaker (lots of wind, that will give you hair whiplash as well), and sunscreen (I got a bit sunburnt).  And the hot springs is absolutely lovely and warming.
  8. You can be dropped off at the border of Chile around 8:30 am. on the third day and won’t miss a thing of the tour, b/c the rest is a loong drive back.  The only stop, San Cristóbal, is a mining town where you only see the store.
  9. If you’re in a hurry, don’t eat at the Italian Pizza Restaurant filled with gringos and country flags.  It takes about 1 hr and half to get a pizza.
  10. To get back to Cocha:  I took the 8:00 p.m. bus, which is supposed to arrive in Oruro around 3:30 a.m. and then you can immediately catch another bus to Cocha.  This didn’t happen to me, because I accidentally bought a ticket from the wrong company (16 de Julio [Bs.40] instead of TransOmar [Bs.70]…there were right next to each other! And of course, I fell for the guy yelling Oruro!).  On the way, two of our tires fell flat and the spare tire was also bad.  Luckily, there were two buses behind us and we borrowed a tire from each and a team of 8 confused people screwed the tires on over the course of an hour and some debates.  We arrived in Oruro at 5:30 a.m. and luckily, there was one TransAzul bus to Cocha departing at 5:40 (the next one is at 7:40).   The bus-ride was a little chilly but not as horrendous as the Lonely Planet makes it out to be.   I arrived in Cocha at 10:30 a.m. and took an hour bath.

The party is over! What a gas!

28 Dec

In a bold move today, Evo ended a 6-year natural gas subsidy and almost doubled gasoline prices (increase of 73-83%).  The announcement was made abruptly, during the holiday season, and at a time when Evo happened to not be in the country.  Unsurprisingly, several unions immediately announced strikes.  The military stepped to in give citizens rides since transport was striking.  This is the kind of mayhem that I wish I was still in Bolivia to see.  Does this mean that the roads will finally be unclogged from trufis, taxis, and buses?

The decision to end the subsidy is the correct one, though it should’ve been implemented gradually, and I am a bit impressed that Evo had the political courage to jeopardize his campesino base when he was previously the olympic champion of issuing subsidies.  (Cheese to pregnant women, a stipend to retired folk…call it social security.)  This seems to be the latest in a string of acknowledgements by Evo of the mounting problems faced by the national oil & natural gas industry.  About 2 months ago, an analyst caused a stir by his estimate that Bolivia has one-third (8.3 Tcf) of the natural gas reserves that it had 5 years ago.  Worried about fulfilling its pipeline contracts with Brazil and Argentina, Bolivia is tightening its supply, not only by stemming the estimated $130 million of gas smuggled out of the country (I remember in San José, about 4 hours from the border to Brazil, a fellow was telling me of the smuggling going on there and people were selling gasoline in 2-liter coke bottles at the store), but also by putting the pressure on the petroleum companies to drill more.

Interestingly enough, with the subsidy, gasoline in Bolivia was not all that cheap, compared to the U.S.  (but definitely very cheap compared to Brazil, Argentina and surrounding countries.)  The price of gasoline (natural gas) has gone up from $2/gal to $3.78/gal.

*In an update, I talked to the manager of a non-profit in Cochabamba the day after the announcement was made and she was extremely worried.  She spoke of it as a disaster in Bolivia, not only for the poor who can’t afford rate hikes in public transportation but also for her non-profit who will have to change their budget and perhaps slash upcoming projects because of higher transportation and general costs.

*In an another update, six days after gasolinazo was announced, due to mounting protests and widespread unpopularity of the initiative among his base, Evo revoked his decree and reinstated the subsidies.  Disappointing, but shows how delicate his power is.

National Conference on Composting in Bolivia

26 Nov

The second national conference on composting was held in Cochabamba earlier this week in Samay Wasi, a conference center/hotel made from bamboo and logs about 11 kilometers from the city.  It was an interesting mix of city officials, mostly men, and non-profits who gathered together to share technical details of their composting projects.  All the major cities in Bolivia have a composting program, usually where the waste management department and the city work together with a non-profit (the non-profit provides the money and the city provides the cooperation).  A lot of progress has been made in the past year and some cities have impressively sophisticated composting programs.  Highlights of the conference include:

  • Waste in Bolivia is “poor,” meaning that 50-60% is organic, biodegradable food scraps.  Additionally, the disposal of organic waste in landfills, where it can contaminated by toxic waste, such as batteries, to create a disgusting black liquid, called lixivianos in Spanish, or left to decompose anaerobically, buried beneath the ground, is dangerous and generates methane, a greenhouse gas.  For this reason, the municipalities of Bolivia have composting programs, which is usually not a public endeavor in the United States.
  • La Paz has had a lombriculture program (growing worms which can poo compost in 15 days vs. the 6-8 month process of aerobically drying piles of organic waste into compost) for 8 years with tremendous success in breeding worms.  But the worms are starving due to insufficient “food” or collection of organic waste, the majority of which is generated by households which it’s hard to collect from.  This is a bit ironic, especially given that other municipalities of Bolivia, including Cochabamba, are lacking worms for their programs.
  • Santa Cruz has a program that collects organic waste from Mercado Abasto, but the waste has to be resorted after collection and composted.  Cochabamba has a similar program that collects from certain markets for a charge of 1 Bs. from each vendor each market day.
  • In Cochabamba, SwissContact & EMSA, the municipal department in charge of waste management, have rolled out in 3 districts special trash collection trucks which collects all types of waste (recyclables, toxic, and trash) from households, disposing of it properly in Kara Kara, the landfill of Cochabamba, where a composting site is also located. (Kara Kara was envisioned as a barren landfill far away from the city, but squatters have settled their illegally, creating a settlement where inhabitants live off the trash, recycling it to make a living.  Since then, non-profits have built a health center there, as evidence shows that living near a landfill isn’t too healthy.  When we toured Kara Kara, a representative from EMSA said that the residents of Kara Kara were protesting because they wanted more soccer fields [apparently, according to him, Kara Kara has the highest density of soccer fields in Cochabamba]….but I believe the real reason was because Kara Kara wanted more support from the government to improve their living conditions.)
  • Most reiterated theme:  Need for environmental education and the need for Bolivians to take responsibility.  Perhaps it’s a bit cynical, but the prevailing opinion of Bolivians from Bolivians is that many expect free things (esp. from non-profits) and require something for himself to do a social good.  In environmental awareness campaigns that offer prizes/free goods in exchange for recyclable materials such as old plastic bags, batteries, dried flowers to compost, the public has focused on the prize and gone through creative means to get it, such as bringing plastic flowers or buying plastic bags to exchange.  For that reason, municipalities are trending toward the thought that programs should be sustainable (fewer giveaway programs and more education) and businesses should pay to pollute.
  • If you want to recycle organic waste in Cochabamba, you can go to one of the four locations run by EMSA:
  1. Avenida Petrolera (Cerca Al Arco)
  2. Avenida Ingavi (Frente al Surtidor Petrobras)
  3. Laguna Alalay acera norte (frence al Mercado trópico)
  4. Avenida Villarroel y Circunvalación

Bolivian Souvenirs that aren’t an Alpaca Hat or Peruvian/Argentinian Souvenirs

23 Oct

If you’re passing through Cochabamba on the way to the Toro Toro dinosaur park or the Chapare rainforest/coca factory, you may have noticed that Cocha isn’t much of a tourist city. Though there is relief in not seeing another multi-colored hippie pant or alpaca sweater that you have already bought in other South American countries (if you actually want to see more of these, go to la Cancha), you may feel a void for shopping. Fear not, there are many authentic Bolivian products to bring home:

  1. Custom-made leather products: Because Cocha’s economy is cows, high-quality leather is incredibly cheap and common here. You can order any kind of custom-made leather product (laptop bags, purses, belts, etc.) from many stores, including Roger’s located at Ayacucho y Heroinas. Or if you have time on your hands, there’s a mom&pop shop that custom-makes anything from leather called Marroquineria Fernandez. They offer “factory prices.” Telf: 4239551 / 77415380, 76480210
  2. A Cacho Set: Best gift for boys, hands-down.  Who doesn’t like dice games?  You can find these at la Cancha, but if you buy the cheap ones (Bs.7), look inside the velvet interior for glue drippings.  Dice come included for Bs.5 extra.
  3. Valentino Arte & Papel: An artisanal paper-making shop from Santa Cruz. All of their products are from recycled materials. They have incredibly fine craftmanship. You can buy these products and other non-recycled items at Full-Mat (Ayacucho No. 380, esq. Jordán, 4250523)

    Notepad of thick recycled paper

    Inside notepad of rough recycled paper.

    Long awesome!

    Inside of long notepad: the paper is incredibly smooth.

  4. Notepad of rough recycled paper.

    Superman notepad with same recycled paper as the Bird.

  5. Tote Le Monde: The production of this celebrity-love brand is actually in Cochabamba and they take their inspiration from Bolivian designs. For example, the $58 Jackson Tote is remarkably similar to the $2 market bag sold at la Cancha.

    $58 Jackson Tote

    $2 Bolivian Market Bag

    You can also custom-order gorgeous leather wallets and purses here. Address: Calle juan de la cruz torrez #1642 (near muyurina), tel: 4232769/4232682.

  6. Uyuni Salt Rock Lamps: Nevermind the claim that they absorb away the evil magnetic forces from computers, these are extremely cool and at Bs.90 ($12) are a bargain. I wish I had a picture. Sold at Skemas, Plaza 14 de Septiembre #381.
  7. Quien Mató a la llamita blanca? (DVD): A hilarious classic with spot-on political commentary on Bolivia, its racial tensions, the cocaine wars, and its turbulent & confusing regimes.
  8. Comic books in Spanish: After months of searching, I finally found a comics store. They carry everything from local artists to classics (V for Vendetta, Sandman, Batman, Superman) to political comics. Dirección: El Pasaje del correo (Ayacucho y Heroinas) second floor, #89, (594) 4511696,
  9. Guayaba jam, Bolivian olive oil, and other food products: Guayaba jam is a treat. Guayaba anything is a treat. You can buy these at a small window near Santa Clara church on 25 de Mayo and Columbia or the market fair every Saturday at Americas and Villaroel.
  10. Change Purses crocheted from recycled plastic bags: Not to promote a cause, but I am working with recyclers (people who make a living scavenging through trash for recyclable materials) in Cochabamba to hand-crochet artisanal products from recycled plastic bags.  The material is amazing–doesn’t even look or feel like plastic bags.  Below are some pictures of change purses (Bs.8 or $1), but they also make purses and other products.  You can find products at Casablanca or Skemas.
  11. Sombrero de Chola (typical hat in Cochabamba)

  12. Ayni Fair-trade Handicrafts: The most beautiful, unique & creative hand-made artisan products I’ve seen in Bolivia.  They have the usual alpaca bags and cards, but their most special products would be the hand-knit flower earrings from alpaca with silver backs (at $3, it’s a steal) and the cute, freshly-painted miniature animals.  Ayni is located in La Paz, but Tote Le Monde sells their products in Cochabamba.

    Cute llamas w/wiphala, perfectly represents Bolivia without having "BOLIVIA" etched into it.

  13. Beautiful Bolivian-Themed Cards: Santa Clara teaches women who come to their food kitchen to make hand-made cards from recycled paper, decorated with dried flowers placed strategically (a dried rose petals represents a cholita’s body, how ingenius!), and then painstakingly painted with pastels.  It’s quite touching to see the amount of care and pride bestowed on each card.  The women consult each other on each’s card design.  From a purely objective POV (for the record, I have not bought the cards made by the non-profit which I work for, but have bought loads of these), these are the most beautiful cards in Cochabamba and they are reasonably priced at Bs.10 each.  Includes recycled paper envelope.  You can find these at Santa Clara church at the corner of Colombia & 25 de Mayo or if you need further directions, please contact me (

The Benefits of a Fake Wallet and Some Cough Drops

18 Oct

It’s interesting to note that in the 7 months I’ve been in Peru and parts of Bolivia, I’ve lost perhaps $10 worth of stuff, but in the 3 months that I’ve been in Cochabamba, the monetary value of goods parted from me is perhaps $400.  This is not to say that Cochabambinos are violent thieves (Bolivians do say, though, that Peruvians are thieves). Most of the crime is surreptitious and there is little danger of getting mugged in the street, compared to Colombia or Lima. Well, there might be a chance of getting assaulted by a clefero (sic), a drug addict addicted to….sniffing glue.  I’ve heard in these cases, you can negotiate with them and they are usually satisfied with a few pesos.  In one particular instance, my roommate’s friend was unable to convince a clefero that her few bolivianos were enough and he demanded her cell-phone.  She stalled by demanding that he hold out his hand, put a bunch of cough drops in it, and ran. But in the case that you don’t have cough drops, you can ask, at least, to keep your SIM card and the telephone numbers, and most cleferos, the reputation is, are okay with that.

 Most of the robberies I’ve experienced have been the sly, gradual disappearance of my things.  Once, I left my jacket, hidden beautifully within a pile of jackets, in a bar, and of course, my jacket and the pile were gone afterwards.  Another time, the laundromat returned all of my socks washed, but my jeans were missing.  The most impressive robbery was when I was walking through la Cancha, acclaimed the largest market in South America by the Lonely Planet (though, it is really like all the other large maze markets in South America), with my backpack.  Of course, the vendors in La Cancha tell me to be careful with my backpack, but as I hate putting it front of my chest, pregnant-woman style, I thought I would be extra-vigilant instead. Exactly four things were inside the outermost-pocket of my backpack: a bunch of business cards, tea-bags, a fake wallet (a wallet with an expired credit-card to distract thieves), and a change purse.  When I got home, only the fake wallet and the change purse were gone.  What a considerate thief, leaving my tea-bags!  But scary how I hadn’t felt a thing.

The most unusual robbery was an inside-job, inside my apartment, to be exact. I had put a stack of 770 bolivianos, my rent ($110), inside my dresser and in the span of two hours, 200 bolivianos from that stack was gone.  At this point, the owner of the apartment revealed to me that over the course of the week, 300 bolivianos had been stolen from her and my other roommate.  The thief had to be the fourth roommate, because who else had the keys to the apartment and she had the silly sense to rob all of us individually.  They confronted her during the night and she mounted an impressive defense.  She approached me in the morning, with tears in her eyes, professing her innocence.  She planted doubts in my mind.  When I came back to the apartment that night, she was still there, in the living room, and had gathered a small group of witnesses, including the mother of her boyfriend of 2 months.  The mother attested to her good character, strange considering they didn´t know each other that long, but we were convinced that she was the robber and kicked her out.

Nevertheless, we still have the same locks to the apartment and the owners still leave the doors unlocked from time to time.  I guess they haven´t learned to be super-paranoid like we are in the States.  (When I lost the keys to my hotel room in a forest, the hotel owners simply made me another copy of the same key.) 

The rich in Cochabamba are super-paranoid (desconfianza, there is a word for this in Spanish), though.  As in all countries, their maids steal from them and some won´t hire maids for that risk.  The guards outside their homes, who are only paid 800-1.200 bolivianos, also sometimes plan robberies of the house, because they make more money that way.

How to recycle in Cochabamba / Locabamba

16 Aug

*Para español, mire abajo.

As there isn’t a municipal system for recycling in Cochabamba yet, most recycling done here is underground, with scavengers who pick through trash to find plastic bottles, paper, or glass bottles to resell to “centros de acopios” or tiny little storage centers who sort the stuff and sell it to a recycling plant.  The centros de acopios, being the middle man, take a large cut, and the recycling centers take an even larger cut, with scavengers left with a low income.  In fact, 85% of scavengers in Cochabamba, who dedicate their lives solely to recycling,  live below the line of poverty, 647 Bs./month (~$92 USD).

If you’re looking to recycle in Cochabamba, you can take your goods to any centro de acopio (just look for a little shack the size of an internet center stuffed to the brim with recycled goods) or you can take it to the centro de acopio of Ciudades Focales, which doesn’t make a cut at all–all the money goes directly to the scavengers– located next to Burger King.

Address: Av.Ayacucho, esq. Teniente Arévalo  (Burger King on the Prado, go down one block to Ayacucho and you will see a place with an adobe wall and a small wooden door.  It looks like a house from the campo. There is no sign.  It’s exactly at the corner, on the same side of the street as Burger King and about a half-block away from the Cine Arte café, opposite site.)

Ciudades Focales' Centro de Acopio from the inside. / El Centro de Acopio de Ciudades Focales

Hours: M-Sa., 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Prices: Usually, 18 plastic bottles (1 kilo), smashed = 1.30 – 1.50 Bs.   10 plastic bottles, whole = 1 Bs.  Paper (1 kilo) = 1.50 Bs.  Glass bottles (1 kilo) = 0.10 – 0.30 Bs.

Ciudades Focales is thinking about rolling out an “Adopt a Recycler” program, where a scavenger will come by to pick up your goods every so often.  The relationship is solely between you and the recycler, with Ciudades Focales only providing the initial contact link (think: dating service) so you guys will be able to decide the details.  If you are interested, you can contact me at or (591) 73748819.


Como no hay una Sistema de Gestión Integral de Residuos Sólidos para Cochabamba, la mayoría del reciclaje se realiza underground, con los segregadores quien recogen la basura para encontrar botellas de plástico, papel, o botellas de vidrio para luego venderlas a los centros de acopio, los pequeños centros de almacenamientos que sortan los residuos sólidos y los venden a los plantas del reciclaje.  Los centros de acopios, estando los intermediarios, recibien una gran tajada/parte del dinero y las plantas del reciclaje reciben una más grande tajada.  Al final, los segregadores se quedan con un ingreso bajo.  De hecho, 85% de los segregadores en Cbba, quien se dedican sus vidas exclusivamente a reciclar, tienen ingresos bajo el sueldo básico, 647 Bs. cada mes.

Si quieres reciclar en Cochabamba, puedes llevar sus residuos reciclados a cualquier centro de acopio (busca una tienda el mismo tamaño que un internet café y que tiene los residuos reciclados se derrame fuera de él) o puedes llevar a el centro de acopio de Ciudades Focales, que no toma una tajada–todo el dinero va a los segregadores.

Dirección: Av.Ayacucho, esq. Teniente Arévalo  (Burger King en el Prado, baja una cuadra hasta Ayacucha y verás un lugar de adobe y una puerta de madera.  Lo parece como un casa del campo.  No hay un señalo.  Se ubica precisamente en la esquina, en el mismo lado de la calle como Burger King y media cuadra del Cine de Arte café, pero el lado opuesto.)

Horarios: M-Sa., 10:30 – 12:30, 17:00 – 19:00

Precios: Usualmente, 18 botellas de plástico (1 kilo), aplastadas = 1.30 – 1.50 Bs.   10 botellas de plástico, enteros = 1 Bs.  Papel, blanco (1 kilo) = 1.50 Bs.  Botellas de Vidrio (1 kilo) = 0.10 – 0.30 Bs.  Cobre (1 kilo) = 30 Bs.

Ciudades Focales está planeado presentar un programa se llama “Adoptar un Segregador,” donde los segregadores irán a tu hogar para recoger de vez en cuando tus residuos reciclados.  La relación es exclusivamente entre tu y el segregador–Ciudades Focales sólo proporcionar el enlace de contacto inicial (piensa: servicio de citas).  Si estás interesada, ponte en contacto conmigo en o (591) 73748819.