Cochabamba is located within the central highlands of Bolivia. Since the city is within a valley, you can see large hills wherever you look. Cochabamba is also home to the largest statue of Jesus Christ, called the Cristo de la Concordia. La Cancha, the marketplace, is also one of the largest in Bolivia. You can find just about anything you want.
A majority of the population is either indigenous or mixed, and female clothing has a very unique local look. In the north, neighborhoods contain mansions but in the south, like Ushpa-Ushpa for example, neighborhoods lack running water. Inequality is drastic and very visible. The city is also very dirty for various reasons. Cars are of old models and are often bought used. As a result, car emissions pollute the air and make it difficult to breathe while walking in the center of town. People pick up plastic bottles because they can make a few bolivianos from recycling centers. Plastic bags, however, litter the streets everywhere. Trash cans can't be found for miles of walking.
Stray dogs can also be found at every street corner. Dogs have colored strips of linen around their neck to signify if they have been vaccinated for rabies or not. At night, barking becomes so frequent that I use ear plugs to fall asleep.
Few citizens in Cochabamba have white collar jobs. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, power plan workers, street vendors, waitresses and miners run much of the workforce. The main reason why big buildings are being built in Cochabamba is because cocaine barons are funding them. The cocaine business, no matter how much the government calls it coca leaf business, is the largest illegal industry in Bolivia. Even though coca leaf and cocaine are dramatically different, there is no denying that drug cocaine production has entered Bolivian society.

Meet The Author

Jarrod Zenjiro Suda | College of Letters and Science, Class of 2016 | University of California, at Berkeley | Major in Development Studies | Minor in Global Poverty and Practice |