Bolivia is one of the most impoverished countries in Latin America. Although in recent years the Andean country has experienced sustained economic growth, currently it is estimated that 24 out of every 100 people -almost a quarter of the population- live in conditions of extreme poverty (according to data from its Ministry of Economy and Finance). Moreover, this period of prosperity has had a more significant impact in rural areas, than in urban ones.
In La Paz, the country’s administrative capital, these inequalities are even more visible. While the wealthy population live in the southern side of the city, the most disadvantaged neighborhoods are found in the north. One of them is El Tejar, whose brick houses are precariously piled up like a waterfall on the hillsides surrounding the urban centre. Its inhabitants are mostly humble people – labourers, craftsmen, street vendors – who live on a hand-to-mouth daily existence with very low wages.
One of the biggest obstacles for low-income families is the difficulty they face balancing work with childcare. This is mainly due to the lack of affordable educational infrastructure available for children under the age of five, the age at which public education begins in this Andean country. In conjunction with our counterpart, the ProInfancia El Salvador Foundation, we concentrate our efforts in offering the children of El Tejar access to comprehensive early childhood education, intent on improving their quality of life and in helping to shape a better future for them.