Our school is located in Cochabamba, a city of approximately 750' 000 people, at 2’600 m above sea level, with an average temperature of 20º C, lying at the foot of the Cordillera del Tunari. Its location in the heart of Bolivia allows for easy access to all regions of Bolivia: the tropical lowlands, the arid high plains and the southern valleys.
Our neighbourhood Villa Juan XXIII is 4,5 km - 15 minutes by public transportation – distant from the centre of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Villa Juan XXIII was founded by a miner´s cooperative in the mining centre of Catavi (North of Potosi) more than 40 years ago.
In Villa Juan XXIII live former mine workers, retired workmen and low-middle income families, simple and hospitable people. Necessity has obliged the residents to help themselves. Their own initiative and hard work have brought them electricity and water 24 hours a day. They also built a primary school and a multi-purpose community centre, "Casa Comunal". It has a large hall for concerts, parties, wakes, workshops and other functions, as well as a library and a health centre. Nowadays, with the new generations, our neighbourhood is expanding upwards, up to 5 floors.
There are several internet services in and around our neighbourhood and uncountable more in the city, at an average cost of Bs. 3/hrs.
The school is a one-story building built around a small inner patio. It has nine classrooms, an office/library/meeting room and two toilets. In front of the building there is another small patio where students and teachers gather during the half hour break to chat, plan afternoon and night activities and excursions, and enjoy delicious snacks, such as fruit juices, milkshakes, tea, coffee and sandwiches.
The meeting room is used for conversations, discussions and to show films; sometimes also for exhibits of national artists. Two classrooms can be converted into a “Salon de Fiestas” for parties where students, teachers and family members join to dance Bolivian and Latin-American dances.