The Maryknoll Bolivia Mission Immersion Program

Bolivia Resources

We have some basic information about Bolivia here.The following are good resources for further information – books, videos, and websites:

Books:

Videos: The following films offer insights into various elements of Bolivian life and reality.
  • The Corporation: This Canadian documentary on corporate abuse around the world features a chapter on Cochabamba's "Water War" in the year 2000, and interviews with Bolivian organizer Oscar Olivera.
  • Our Brand Is Crisis: A documentary showing how Bill Clinton's political campaign team came to Bolivia to run the successful campaign of Bolivian president Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada, whose term would later be cut short after he ordered the massacre of 67 Bolivians protesting a shady gas export deal. He fled the country, and is currently living in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Goni is wanted in Bolivia for murder, but the U.S. refuses to extradite him. A family of Maryknoll Lay Missioners were in the neighborhood where the worst violence occurred, and the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns has been a leader in the movement to tell the truth and bring Sanchez de Lozada to justice.
  • The Devil's Miner documents the lives of children working the mines of Potosí, Bolivia.
  • Even The Rain is a drama centered around the Water War in Cochabamba, starring Gael García Bernal.
  • Bolivia also has several excellent filmmakers of its own. Seek out Bolivian movies from your favorite source for DVDs or streaming.

On the Web:

  • The CIA World Factbook: No cloak-and-dagger stuff here. Just good, basic, up-to-date factual overviews of every country in the world, including Bolivia.
  • The BBC has a good country profile on Bolivia.
  • The Andean Information Network (AIN) does human rights research and analysis of current events in Bolivia. Co-founded by Maryknoll Lay Missioner Cathy Breen and originally dedicated to shining a light on the impact of the U.S. War On Drugs in Bolivian coca growing communities, AIN's work now covers a variety of important topics.
  • The Democracy Center was founded by Jim Shultz in San Francisco, but it has been based out of Cochabamba for nearly two decades. Supporting world-wide efforts at building "democracy from below," the center is also a global leader in using technology to mobilize international grassroots activist campaigns. See their excellent first-hand reporting on the Water War that took place in Cochabamba in 2000. From public budget processes to international trade agreement enforcement mechanisms, to their current emphasis on global climate change, the Democracy Center's team of Bolivian and international researchers report from Bolivia on issues affecting the whole world.
  • The Bolivian Information Forum is a London-based resource providing regular updates and analysis of current events in Bolivia.
  • CEDIB is a Bolivian documentation center with some excellent resournces including monthly news digests (Spanish).
  • BoliviaBella has all kinds of information on Bolivia, from restaurant reviews to articles on culture to volunteer opportunities.
  • Noticias Bolivianas is a regularly updated portal for all of Bolivia's major news sources (Spanish).
  • There is another clearinghouse of Bolivian news outlets (mostly Spanish) here.
  • For information, news and analysis on Latin America more broadly: The North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) are both good, U.S.-based resources on Bolivia and the entire region, and have often collaborated with the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns.  And Latinamerican Press is an excellent newspaper originally founded by Maryknoll. See also their Spanish edition, Noticias Aliadas.