KINDERGARTEN REHABILITATION IN BOLIVIA

INTRODUCTION

Bolivia is a South American country enjoying a central position with no less than five neighbors: Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. 

Well known for having the highest capital city in the world (La Paz: administrative capital), its territory is deeply shaped by its geography. There are two main areas: the plains with a tropical or desert climate — depending on the region, and the high plateaus.  The latter is called the Altiplano, varying between 3500m and 4000m in altitude, and boasts some of the highest peaks in the world. These two elements reflect in the culture and behaviour of Bolivians. Depending on the region, they identify themselves as «cambas» (inhabitants of the plains) or «kollas» (inhabitants of the highlands), each with very specific characteristics and identity.

Bolivia is a society with a very diverse culture. Its traditions are those of the largest indigenous population in South America. The strategic position of the altiplano with its historic trade routes makes this region the cultural cradle of South America. 

Almost 95% of the population is Christian. However, the Christian religion is mixed with many Inca or Aymara beliefs, which are the most represented indigenous groups. 

Today, mestizos (individuals of indigenous and Spanish descent) represent the majority of the population, but more than 20% of the population is still indigenous.

Composed of about 11 million inhabitants, the country is divided into three main cities: Sucre, which is the constitutional capital, La Paz, which is the administrative capital, and Santa Cruz, the country’s largest city, now the economic centre, thanks in particular to its hydrocarbon exploitation.

The country has undergone a period of profound political, economic and social change since the election of the first president of indigenous origin: Evo Morales, who launched many social reforms. 

 

Despite the changes in recent years, more than 5 million people live below the poverty line with a wide disparity between urban and rural areas where the poverty rate is very high. Faced with this situation, TECHO Bolivia works in the district of La Arboleda de Fatima in the suburbs of Santa Cruz. Their goal is to give as many families as possible a decent housing. After several diagnoses in this neighbourhood, another observation emerged: there is need for a daycare centre to improve the quality of life of families. A daycare centre would allow parents to work without leaving their children alone at home and allow elders to go to school when parents are working. In this context, ARCHsharing, in collaboration with TECHO Bolivia, organizes the competition «Kindergarten Rehabilitation in Bolivia».

PROPOSAL

 

In this context, ARCHsharing proposes, in partnership with the humanitarian association TECHO Bolivia, the construction of a kindergarten in a district on the periphery of the city of Santa Cruz. Located in the district of La Arboleda de Fatima, the project will have to meet many social, constructive and economic challenges while offering the children of the district a playful and quality place. Today, the demand in this neighbourhood represents more than 500 children between the ages of 2 and 5 who do not have access to a kindergarten.

 

The project site is located within the perimeter of the La Arboleda de Fatima district school. Its strategic location will allow students to accompany their younger siblings to the kindergarten and no longer miss school days for they have to look after them when parents can’t. 

The site includes two disused buildings that used to form the old school, as well as a large covered sports field that is rarely used today. In order to accommodate as many children as permissible, a rehabilitation of the two existing buildings and a 100m2 extension will be necessary. A landscaping proposal will complete the project to provide an outdoor courtyard for children. 

SITE

The kindergarten will be in the abandoned school of the district of La Arboleda de Fatima. Located within the boundaries of the new primary and secondary school, the site is composed of two buildings to renovate and a covered football field.

The two existing buildings are in a bad condition, they can’t be use as it is for security or comfort reasons. That’s why a rehabilitation strategy is asked. 

 

The project area is delimited by the school compound and the separation wall between the new and the old school. Currently the old school no longer has any use and the football field is rarely used because another one is available in the playground. 

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