I leave tomorrow morning for Bolivia via Panama, Ecuador and Peru finally arriving in La Paz airport at 12:45AM. La Paz airport is at nearly 13,500 feet (Yikes!). I will be joining Dr. Desiree Segura-April and Joanna Kretzer in La Paz, then we head out for Cochabamba to begin our research. Fortunately Cochabamba is only at around 9,000 feet, but is surrounded by mountains on every side, including the 18,000 foot snow capped Mt Tunari. I will continue on in Cochabamba for my entire research trip, while they will move towards La Paz and on for other research, tying in issues of church work among children. The city-wide strategy that we are focusing on is a critical outreach to children working and living on the street. We are hoping that through our research we will be able to encourage Christian groups around the world to work together in caring for children at risk.

  • There are over 2,500 children living on the streets of major cities such as Cochabamba, La Paz and Santa Cruz.
  • UNICEF estimates that 800,000 children work in Bolivia.
  • 75% of street children are 12 years old, 25% aged three to 11.
  • UNICEF also states 60% of street children left home due to physical violence.
  • 20% left home because there wasn’t enough to eat and 20% were abandoned by their parents.
  • 80% of these children inhale “clefa” [glue] and some adolescents are alcoholics.
  • More than 100 post-pubescent young women live in the streets of Cochabamba without any sex education or advice.
  • More than 40 babies live on the streets of Cochabamba.
  • Most street children are functionally illiterate because they left school. They can read and write with difficulty.
  • 90% use solvents as a form of escapism.

This research is connected to 180 degrees alliance, Viva, FYI and Toybox Charities

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