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Update: May 31, 2017

CIC Awana Youth Leaders Retreat:
This past February Johan Carlos from the Cochabamba International Church wanted to hold a special retreat for the Awana (Osana) youth leaders at the church. Viva Bolivia was happy to help support the event! This group of volunteer leaders (eight were in attendance) make a big difference in the lives of the children who participate in the Awana program all year long. This year they were able to rent a small cabin just outside of Cochabamba on Lake Corani for the weekend-long event. Thank you for helping these leaders grow and serve!

CIC Awana Youth Leaders Retreat 2017 CIC Awana Youth Leaders Retreat 2017
CIC Awana Youth Leaders Retreat 2017


Update: March 8, 2017

Grants update: 2016 Year-End Review
This past year donations were down compared to last year, but grant giving was up! How can we do that? We were able to give more than we brought in due to some additional funds left over from past years. We were able to distribute $7047.75 in strategic grants during 2016 and are hoping to do about the same in 2017 (see chart).

Fifty-three grants (10 more than last year) were given to 35 different individuals and organizations. The average grant size was up slightly to $132.98 (note that some recipients received more than one grant during the year). We gave to three broad categories during 2016. You can read about them in more detail on our Apply for a Grant page.

We gave to inspire and encourage leadership in International Development Programs (30%), Job Preparation and Training (1%) and International Relief Programs (68%). It should also be noted that we also helped provide work for the entire VBPS team by hiring them to distribute our grants in person from their office in Cochabamba. This on-the-ground, local and in-person distribution is key to our success in building leaders. Thanks to all who gave to make these strategic and powerful grants possible. Let's do even more in 2017! Consider a gift today.

Make a donation to Viva Bolivia - Thank you!


Update: December 16, 2016

The Life Changing Power of Musicals:
We are celebrating with JACU and all the volunteers (leaders), parents and young people involved in this program. Their focus is to use artistic forms (like plays and dance) to communicate good messages.

This play (a musical) was put on in La Paz and encouraged young people to treat each other with respect and love and to appreciate the differences in each other, rather than attacking or teasing those differences.

The theme of the evening was bullying, which is something young people face in school and on the streets - especially in the poorer, inner-city neighborhoods. These kids were from El Alto and La Paz. Viva Bolivia gave a $200 grant to help make this possible. Thank you!


Update: December 13, 2016

Christmas Came Early:
Christmas came early for the students at the Mejillones School outside the city of La Paz Bolivia!

This is thanks to a grant from Viva Bolivia and our local leader, Nelson from SIAB. These students receive their most important meal of the day at school. Parents and teachers were providing the food, but needed tables, chairs, cups, bowls, spoons, forks . . . for their lunch room. We are so pleased to be able to help. Thank you to the many VB supporters who made this grant possible.

Why not consider a gift to help us make more grants like this one? It is amazing what we can do with only $500 and an inspired leader like Nelson. Thank you!


Update: October 23, 2016

A Visit to Bolivia:
Jonathan, our volunteer Board President is heading to Bolivia for a short two-week visit. He will be arriving in Cochabamba on Tuesday morning at 9:30am local time. During his visit he will be spending time with the VBPS SRL team and meeting with some of the projects we support through our grants program. He will also be speaking at the Cochabmaba International Church on Sunday morning October 30th. He is looking forward to catching up with old friends and encouraging our grants distribution team based in Cochabmaba. For up-to-the minute photos from Bolivia, you can follow Jonathan on Facebook.

First $10K for FREE - Online Giving Made Easy!
We just updated our online giving system to make it easier to give and with even less overhead. The new system is through Crowdrise and in partnership with Network for Good. This system works great on mobile devices (and desktops) and costs us just slightly less than 3% as a charity. When you donate with your credit card, they will offer you the opportunity to cover this cost when you donate, but for the first $10,000 in donations Crowdrise has offered to pay the processing fee when it isn't covered by the donor, so feel free to remove this from your donation and let them cover this cost for us. Thank you Crowdrise! No time like the present to give it a try!

Donate via Crowdrise!
Make a donation to Viva Bolivia - Thank you!


Update: March 1, 2016

Grants update: 2015 Year-End Review
This past year donations were up, thanks to a special one-time gift of $7000! ($8.5K in 2014 to $15.6K in 2015). Due to this increase we are starting 2016 on a high note. We were able to distribute $4318.84 in strategic grants during 2015 and are planning to do even more in 2016 (see chart).

Forty-three grants were given to 30 different individuals and organizations. The average grant size was $100.44 (some recipients received more than one grant during the year). We gave to two broad categories in 2015. You can read about them in more detail on our Apply for a Grant page. We gave to help and encourage leadership in International Development Programs (46%) and International Relief Programs (54%). Thanks to all who gave to make these strategic and powerful grants possible!


Update: December 14, 2015

Christmas is a Time for Giving (donate)
This time of year we approve more grants than usual. These targeted leadership grants help people reach their communities to share the joy and hope of Christmas. If you would like to help make these and other grants possible, please consider a special year-end gift to Viva Bolivia (click donate above)! The photos below are from an event that took place on Saturday, December 12th for the children and families of Buena Vista Baja. For this event, Viva Bolivia partnered with the Viva Bolivia Productos y Servicios SRL team and Pastor Kim of La Buena Semilla. This is the second year in a row we have been able to partner with these groups to bring a special Christmas treat to this community.

 

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Camps Change Lives
This past July Maria Elena from the VBPS office again helped to organize a youth camp. Viva Bolivia helped by giving a partial grant to help reduce the cost for participants and improve the overall camp experience. Young people from across Bolivia participated as did a number of churches. The camp was held in Vinto, just outside of Cochabamba. This year the three day event included 560 young people, the biggest camp yet! They stayed in tents (see photos) and enjoyed meals, games and seminars together. They had more than 10 local pastors participate and 8 special speakers came to help lead the break-out sessions. We are so proud of Maira Elena and her leadership again this year!

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Youth for Christ
In Bolivia, Youth for Christ is know as Juventud para Cristo. In May of this year VB helped to sponsor a one day conference for local teens and young adults. There were 40 participants at the conference where they played team building games and heard from a speaker who focused on self-image and worldview in relationship to your position in the community, family, church and as a leader. David, the local Youth for Christ leader also attends the Cochabamba International Church. Way to go David! Keep up the good work.


Update: July 10, 2015

The Power of Clean Water
Clean drinking water is widely believed to be one of the most cost effective and life changing gifts you can give to help those who are struggling with basic needs. One missionary who has taken this to heart is Dale Harlan. Dale was previously based in Bolivia with SIM. Before Dale left, he set up the basic structure for a Bolivia-based organization called BOL-CAN. Today Viva Bolivia is helping BOL-CAN with a small grant to develop their legal foundation in Bolivia. Dale worked to build up a local leader (we love this!) and his name is Gonzalo Fiorilo.

Gonzalo is working on a shoestring budget and reached out to VB for help in the process of getting BOL-CAN established. In the meantime, Gonzalo continues to host teams from the US who help with water projects and to coordinate efforts in the villages and towns where Dale started the work. This past May he hosted a team from Cedarville who came to help with training and development. We are pleased to be a part of their team as they work to bring clean water, training about hygiene and truth from God's word to remote villages in Bolivia. And we are excited to see Gonzalo develop as a leader in this critical area of need.

Students from Cedarville University 2015 


Update: March 27, 2015

Sewing up a Storm of Hope
We are celebrating with the staff and students of Educativa Mariscal Andrés de Santa Cruz. One of our favorite leadership grants to make is to help with education that can lead toward self-sufficiency. Job skills training that builds up individuals and teaches specific skills and soft skills needed to be a good employee or business owner are high on our list! In 2013 we partnered with SIAB (Servicio Intergal Agropecuario Boliviano) to help a school in Oruro (see Update December 4, 2013) with a baking skills class that also provided bread used at the school.

This past year we again partnered with SIAB. This year our project focused on job skills training in the textile industry. We helped by making a grant for new equipment (sewing machines). The school provided the location and teachers. SIAB purchased the equipment and coordinated with parents and local officials to make it all happen.

At the end of last school year they celebrated with an exposition of some of the products that the student made using their new equipment. Nelson sent a detailed report with 20+ photos of the delivery of the equipment and the project in process. Enjoy a few of our favorite photos below.


 


Update: February 23, 2015

Grants update: 2014 Year-End Review
This past year donations were down a fair amount ($11.2K in 2013 to $8.5K in 2014). Due to this decrease we gave out less grants, but were still excited to be able to distribute just under $5000 in strategic grants (see chart). Forty-two grants were given to 31 different individuals and organizations. The average grant size was $116.52 (some recipients received more than one grant during the year). We gave to three broad categories. You can read about them in more detail on our Apply for a Grant page. For 2014 our largest grant category by far was International Development Programs (89%), followed by International Relief Programs (8%) and International Economic Assistance Programs (3%). Thanks  to all who gave to make these strategic grants possible!


Update: February 12, 2015

Christmas 2014 - Thank You!
This year we raised more than $1000 through the CrowdRise Holiday Challenge. This helped VB support six different Christmas leadership development projects. Numerous leaders (doctors, lawyers, accountants and pastors) from businesses and churches volunteered to reach out to their communities with Christ's love at Christmas.

Children were given gifts and those living on the streets were fed. Families celebrated together and many experienced Christmas in a special way. Thank you for supporting this powerful opportunity to help build up local leaders and support the local communities in and around Cochabamba through giving and encouragement. A few of our favorite photos are below. Enjoy!

Christmas in Cochabmba - 2014

Christmas in Cochabmba - 2014 Christmas in Cochabmba - 2014

Christmas in Cochabmba - 2014

Christmas in Cochabmba - 2014 Christmas in Cochabmba - 2014

VBPS SRL Team - Christmas 2014

VBPS SRL Team - Christmas 2014 VBPS SRL Team - Christmas 2014

VBPS SRL Team - Christmas 2014

Christmas at Jordan Church 2014 Christmas at Jordan Church 2014

Christmas 2014

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Casa de Amor Celebrates 10 Years!
One of the organizations we have worked with over the years is Casa de Amor. They focus on providing loving homes and adoptions where possible for babies and young children. You can learn more about them at: http://casadeamor.org

This past year, Jennifer and her team celebrated their 10th year and were recognized by local officials and the local news. Viva Bolivia was please to help with a small grant to help cover some of the costs of getting the word out and encouraging this powerful ministry that helps those who truly can't help themselves. If you are ever in Cochabamba, be sure to ask for a tour of one of these homes. Truly they provide Homes of Love for children in need. You can meet their leadership team by visiting their Web site.

Casa de Amor - 10 Year Celebration!

Casa de Amor - 10 Year Celebration! Casa de Amor - 10 Year Celebration!

Casa de Amor - 10 Year Celebration! Casa de Amor - 10 Year Celebration! 


Update: December 18, 2014

Christmas 2014 - Crowdrise Holiday Challenge
Last year we raised $2000 though the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge. This year we are aiming to raise $5000! Want to join the fun? Just click the link below.

https://www.crowdrise.com/vivaboliviaholiday

 


Update: November 24, 2014

Danely Scholarship Update
Most grants from Viva Bolivia are time limited and focus on a specific project. However, occasionally we have the opportunity to build into future leaders through longer-term scholarships. One example is Danely. We have been  assisting her as she attends the Laredo Institute in Cochabamba. You may recall that her sister Alexandra graduated from this school in December of 2013.

This special school provides additional education in terms of music and dance. The addition of the Arts to traditional education provides for more time in school and also helps young adults to develop skills that would otherwise not be a part of their elementary and high school education.

During Jonathan's recent trip to Bolivia he was able to catch up with Danely and have lunch with her family. Here are a few photos from our time together. Danely is on the left in these photos. Included are her mom (Roxana) and sister (Alee). We are so proud of Dane and can hardly wait to see what the future holds for her!

Dane, Roxana and Alee

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Bolivia Trip 2014
Jonathan visited Bolivia this past October and early November. Below are a few highlights from
the trip. The focus was on the VB team, grant recipients and following up with a few of the projects and ministries Viva Bolivia has supported over the years. Jonathan was also able to work with a Norwegian team who is developing student housing project and a low cost loan program to put college-age students through school. This is a ministry that grew out of Valle Hermoso and some of these children (now young adults) are already participating in the program!

La Paz Airport - Sunrise Cochabamba Mountians from Airplane

Cochabamba Main Plaza

VBPS SRL team with friends from Norway Santiago and Jonathan

Student Home Team

 Vegar, Rudy and Jonathan Norma from Valle Hermoso

 Meeting with Mano a Mano and the Student Home project

 Juan Jose on Family's Farm Juan Jose with Coffee Tree Jonathan and Juan Jose enjoying some coffee in Santa Cruz Meeting friends at the Cochabamba airport

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Cochabamba International Church 2014
Jonathan attended two Sunday services at the Cochabamba International Church while in Bolivia. Viva Bolivia Productos y Servicios SRL continues to help with legal and accounting services for the Church and Juan José serves on the Board and teaches Sunday School.
 

Cochabamba International Church - Sunday Morning

Jimmy and Connie and Ick Sunday morning worship

 Juan Jose teaching Sunday School Class Beaty Family - Casa de Amor

 Anita and Jonathan Almanza Family

 Missions at CIC


Update: June 9, 2014

Staying Sharp - Tax and Accounting Training Seminar
Training grants can be used to help professionals sharpen their skills, learn new techniques, become better leaders and excel in their professions. Recently, Juan José (from VBPS SRL) and two other staff members wanted to attend a training seminar. We were delighted to help with partial scholarships! The additional costs were paid by them individually. María Elena, Omar and Juan José attended the two-day conference this past March. The conference was held at the local university (Universidad Mayor de San Simón). The focus was on tax law, accounting techniques and administration.

Three from Viva Bolivia Productos y Servicios SRL

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Leadership Camp 2014
In February Viva Bolivia helped sponsor a leadership camp for 45 young adults. We are so proud of María Elena who both works for Viva Bolivia Productos y Servicios SRL and who volunteers at her church as the president of the youth ministry. She applied for and was awarded a grant from VB to help keep the costs down for all the participants. This year youth from three different churches participated. The event was organized by the Evangelical Church of God in Bolivia and held in Cochabamba.

Leadership Camp 2014 - Some of those in attendance

Six guest speakers including Pastor Isaac Quino, Efrain Paredes, Elizabeth Quispe, Pastor Mario Cabezas, Pastor Iván Delgado and River Claure presented five training sessions to the group. Others led a number of instructional games and prepared the food. María Elena reports that a good time of encouragement, fun and learning was had by all.

Team work and learning to trustTeam work!

One of five training sessions during the weekend.


Update: March 22, 2014

Flooding in Bolivia and How One Church is Helping
Flooding is common in Bolivia. During the years that Karin and Jonathan lived in Bolivia (2002-2008) nearly every January and February would bring some level of flooding. This was especially true at lower altitudes, but also affected cities like Cochabmaba and even La Paz. This year the flooding started in January and was particularly bad. You may have seen photos or news coverage. Many people lost homes, small businesses and live stock. According to Fox News as of January 28th, 2014 some 21,000 people were homeless and 30+ people had died as a result of these floods. Later in February the Christian Science Monitor reported that 58,000 families had been affected and 56 people had died.

One of the ways Viva Bolivia likes to help in times of difficulty is to support local leaders. This year many organizations, churches and individuals rallied to bring aid, including one of our favorites, Mano a Mano.

Pastor Centellas and about 20 members of the Abundant Life Church in Cochabamba also wanted to help. They had contact with some particularly hard hit areas of the Yuquis, in Ibiricuaté and in Chimoré. They asked VB if we would help with a small grant to purchase food, medical supplies, clothes and other items for families who were hurt by the recent flooding. In all they were able to help about 30 families (around 150 people) during this difficult time. We are so pleased to encourage this type of leadership in the community. Way to go Pastor! The photos below were sent to us after the team got back from the trip and include team members from the church and some of the distribution of the items they brought to support these communities.



Update: January 28, 2014

Grants update: 2013 Year-End Review
This past year we were able to increase our strategic grant giving to just shy of $8,000 (see chart). Eighty-three grants were given out to 43 different individuals and organizations. The average grant size was $96.23 (some recipients received more than one grant during the year). We have three broad categories that we fund through the grant making progress. You can read about them on our Apply for a Grant page. For 2013 our largest grant category was International Development Programs (48%), followed by International Relief Programs (38%) and International Economic Assistance Programs (14%).


Update: January 23, 2014

Congratulations Alee. This is just the beginning!
The Viva Bolivia slogan is, "Leadership for today, hope for tomorrow." Alee is an example of both! We met Alexandra as a small child back in 2000 when Karin and Jonathan visited Bolivia for the first time. She was just a few years old and was her mom's pride and joy. What fun it has been to watch her grow and recently to receive some photos and a thank you letter from Alee and her mom (Roxana).

Roxana and Alexandra at Graduation in Cochabmaba, Bolivia 

Viva Bolivia has helped to sponsor Alexandra's education at the Laredo Institute in Cochabamba for a number of years (since about fourth grade). What a pleasure to see her graduate from this special school! Students at the Laredo Institute not only learn the basics but also have the opportunity to study music and the arts. Alee has become a smart and graceful young woman who is also a powerful ballet dancer. She even had the opportunity to travel to Mexico to represent her school there and preform at a number of special venues.

Alee with the Laredo Institute class of 2013 

Their class theme was, "Aquí no se acaba" which loosely translates to, "This is just the beginning." And that is how we feel about Alee. We are so proud of her and her family. This has not been an easy journey and there are still many challenges ahead, but this is just the beginning. Thank you for helping to build a strong foundation for this budding leader. Your giving and support have made her education possible and she is such a great result! We are celebrating with their family and looking forward to seeing just what the future holds for Alee.

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Christmas 2013
Every year Viva Bolivia gives special grants to help celebrate Christmas. This year we partnered with a number of local leaders and three local churches to help share the joys of Christmas with local children, some who might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear the Christmas Story or receive a gift at this special time of the year. We are so thankful for the local leaders who did all the work and raised support, in addition to the grants Viva Bolivia provided. Below are just a few photos from the reports we received.

Christmas Celebration 2013 - Jordan

Christmas Celebration 2013 - Jordan  Christmas Celebration 2013 - Jordan

Christmas Celebration 2013 - Jordan

Christmas Celebrations 2013 - Peniel  Christmas Celebration 2013 - Peniel

Christmas Celebration 2013 - Manantial de VidaChristmas Celebration 2013 - Manantial de VidaChristmas Celebration 2013 - Manantial de Vida

Christmas Celebration 2013 - Manantial de VidaChristmas Celebration 2013 - Manantial de VidaChristmas Celebration 2013 - Manantial de Vida

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Holiday Challenge - Thank You!
We are so thankful to everyone who participated in this year's Holiday Challenge. Viva Bolivia was able to raise an additional $2000 through this effort and this helped us to sponsor some of our Christmas giving as well as to get us off on the right foot for 2014. Thank you! You can check out our page by visiting: www.crowdrise.org/vivabolivia-hc

Or, see an overview of all the participants at:

http://www.crowdrise.com/crowdriseholidaychallenge

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The Doctor Visits Asunta
One of our favorite leaders to support is Dr. Gareca. Below are a few photos from the rural community of Asunta. Jorge visited (thanks to Mano a Mano for flying him in) this community for three days this past November and reports that he and his team were able to help nearly 150 community members. They provided medical assistance, dental care and some basic healthcare training. Keep up the good work Dr. Gareca!

On a side note, some of you may remember this community from our very first Viva Bolivia video. The shots from the river with the men fishing using bow and arrow are taken from the river that flows alongside this community. You can watch the video again by visiting our Facebook page (scroll down to the bottom and look for the video entitled: Introduction to Viva Bolivia).

 Dr Visits Asunta 2013


Dr Visits Asunta 2013Dr Visits Asunta 2013
Dr Visits Asunta 2013

Dr Visits Asunta 2013


Update: December 04, 2013

The Power of Fresh Bread
We recently received some photos and a thank you letter from a grant we made earlier this year. The grant was given to SIAB, an organization we have partnered with in the past to bring Christmas presents to remote villages in Bolivia. This year Nelson (who leads SIAB) set his sights on helping a small school with a work-skills project.

The small rural K-12 school is located just outside the city of Oruro, Bolivia. The school's name is Paria. Nelson worked with administrators, teachers and parents to prepare a location, purchase a bread oven and other supplies and set up the program. Now children in this school are baking their own bread! Through this project they learn culinary and small business skills, and get to enjoy fresh, hot bread -- a special treat in the cold, high altitude of more than 11,000 feet above sea-level.

Below are a few photos from the school and a copy of the letter we received from the administrators and teachers involved with the project. We love projects like this that build up various leaders. From Nelson with SIAB to the local teachers and administrators in this school to the parents who got involved to help make this a reality . . . Not to mention the students who will benefit from the project for years to come! A win-win-win! Your gifts to VB help make grants like this possible. Check out our special Christmas giving challenge where you can join in the fun: www.crowdrise.com/vivabolivia-hc.

 Professors, teachers and parents with new breadmaking equipment.

Fresh bread!

Thank you letter from the school.

 

Update: November 06, 2013

Celebrating Valle Hermoso
This past week both Karin and Jonathan were in Santa Cruz, Bolivia with the Valle Hermoso children and the leadership team (21 of us in all). About one year ago the team decided it was time to close down the home (after 10 years of service). A decision like this is not easy and there are always a number of things to consider. It is not uncommon for a project or ministry to shut down or change the way it operates. What is uncommon is for the transition to be done in a thoughtful manner that respects both those who are being served and those who have worked with and for the project. Valle Hermoso, led by Aija Tørre, has excelled in both areas!

The gathering in Santa Cruz at the Buganvillas hotel marked a milestone. Each of the children had been reintegrated with some member of their family (parents where possible, grandparents and aunts and uncles in other cases). Follow-up meetings at each of their homes have been ongoing this past year led by the local team (Margareta, Lilibeth and Ines). The time in Santa Cruz was scheduled to bring all the children (minus just a few) and the leadership from Norway and Bolivia together to review how things are going and to plan for the future.

While the children are now in the legal care of their family members, the local team will continue to be available to them for the next few years to come. Additional funds are being set aside to help many of the children with education and career training.

I am so proud to report that most children seem to be excelling in this new situation. For all of them there are real challenges ahead . . . and for some these challenges seem quite daunting. However, they all know that they have a "family" they can reach out to in Bolivia, Norway and even in the United States.

 Valle Hermoso "Family" in Santa Cruz, Bolivia


Update: October 31, 2013

Saturday Morning Staff Meetings
This past Saturday I was privileged to attend the Saturday morning staff meeting at Viva Bolivia Productos y Services in Cochabamba. The team here continues to grow. Saturdays are a bit less formal and after some house-keeping and meetings with the department heads (Accounting, Legal and Coffee) the entire staff gathers for some time together. From left to right (Juan José, Josue, Juan Carlos, Juan Kim, Mari Cruz, Maria Elena, Maria José). Viva Bolivia contracts with VBPS to help us distribute our grants strategically, responsibly and locally.

Saturday morning staff meetings


Update: October 22, 2013

Betania Children's Home Update
When Karin and Jonathan first moved to Bolivia they worked to help Vegar and Aija with several projects that Vegar's family had started, some from many years back. One such project was the Children's home in Oruro, Bolivia. The photo below shows some of the children, volunteer from Norway (on the right), Vegar and Aija (middle), Margareta (administrator from Valle Hermoso, left) and Christian and Cynthia (the faithful house parents for more than 10 years, right). It was such an honor to share this time with them as we celebrated the work that has been accomplished, thanked the Lord and heard from a few of the older children (young adults now). Some of them shared through tears about how their lives have been changed for the better because of the opportunities and love they received through this special place. Hope for tomorrow, personified!

Betania Children's Home team

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A New Office for Roxana
Today I had the privilege of visiting Roxana at her new office. She was Viva Bolivia's first grant recipient and now is a practicing attorney here in Cochabamba. She shares her office with a partner and together they are working to build a business that can support their two families. Starting a small business is no easy task. They have been in this office for just over two months and what they need more than anything is new, paying clients. Keep up the good work Roxana!

 Roxana in her new office!


Update: October 18, 2013

Bolivia Bound
Tonight I'm sitting at SeaTac airport and waiting for the first of four flights to Cochabamba. I'm looking forward to seeing our friends in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Below is a photo from our very first visit to Bolivia. This little boy was sitting along side the road (highway) between Cochabamba and La Paz and was very pleased that his foreign friends had a nice little ball to keep him company. Sometimes a little kindness can go a long way . . .

A boy and his ball - Bolivia 2000


Update: July 19, 2013

Abelina Update
Today I was thinking of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This thought led me to Abelina and so I wanted to share an update. We first met Abelina at the Valle Hermoso Children's home in Cochabamba in 2002. Abelina is particularly special to us at Viva Bolivia because of her need for a prosthesis. Through a partnership with local churches in the United States, supporters from Norway and some special help from the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation we have been able to help Abelina a number of times over the years.

During our last trip to Bolivia we visited Abelina and her baby Ruth! Today they live in Santa Cruz with her sister. Abelina works as a Beautician doing manicures, pedicures and hair styling.

Jonathan, Abelina and Ruth in Cochabamba.

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Grants Update: 2013 Mid-Year Review
So far this year we have given out grants to 21 different individuals and organizations. Most of these grants have been for less than $200 each and a number of recipients have received more than one grant. The total dollar amount as of June 2013 was just over $3000. This is a little low for this time in the year, but keeps us on budget with the limited funds we have. If you would like to help us make more grants, consider a special donation! Thank you for your support and for helping to make leadership for today and hope for tomorrow a reality in Bolivia!


Update: March 29, 2013

Alfa y Omega
For more than 10 years Pastor Rolando has been serving as Pastor at the Alfa y Omega church (in the southern part of Cochabamba). He is also leader of the Alfa y Omega folkloric singing group that gives concerts throughout Bolivia. Their group has donated time at the Cochabamba International Church to help raise funds for a burn victim and his family. Their music is featured in some of our Viva Bolivia videos. This singing group is a treasure for Bolivia.

Rolando's hand was recently injured in a serious wood working injury (while repairing some of their instruments). The cost of the doctor's bills were high and although the clinic discounted the cost nearly fifty-percent still there was a heavy burden on the family. Viva Bolivia was happy to be able to help with a small grant to cover some of these costs. If you would like to help with an additional gift, please contact: jonathan@vivabolivia.org.

Rolando at home recovering after his surgery.

Rolando before the accident leading Alfa y Omega.


Update: March 27, 2013

Generación Sin Fonteras
This past February the youth society at the Evangélica de Dios Boliviana - Jordán church held a three-day youth conference. Viva Bolivia was pleased to support our own, María Elena (accountant at VBPS SRL), who is the current volunteer President of this group. Together with her leadership and a small grant from Viva Bolivia (and other donors) the church held a successful event encouraging more than 60 youth from three different departments (states) of Bolivia. Each participant also paid a small fee and covered the cost of their transportation to the event.

Meeting together inside the church.

Maria Elena coordinates the team event.   Four teams participated in team building events.

The days were full of team building activities, fellowship, seminars, eating and playing together and two nights even went on beyond mid-night. We are so pleased to be able to support leaders like Maria as she works to encourage youth in Bolivia in their spiritual and moral life and in their relationships and skills as future leaders. Keep up the good work María Elena!

Great food!   Thumbs up!

Sumo wrestling Bolivian style


Update: January 18, 2013

When the Doctor Comes to Town
During the first nine days of January 2013 Dr. Jorge Gareca (a Bolivian doctor who works in Cochabamba) used his vacation time to deliver health care, toys, food, tooth brushes and the good news of the Gospel to four rural communities including: Tomaycuri, Titiri, C'ollpa and Macha.

New toys!

Approximately 150 people were in attendance at each clinic in each village. The children are always particularly interested in the Bolivian Doctor driving up from the big city of Cochabamba in his 1970's Land Cruiser.

Dr. Jorge shares some words of encouragement.

We have used strategic grants to encourage Dr. Gareca for a number of years and continue to be encouraged by the good work he is doing. Keep up the good work, Doctor!

Christmas in January! Children Praying

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Christmas Baby
Josué joined the Viva Bolivia team in Bolivia in 2012. He helps VBPS with coffee production and is learning some accounting skills along the way. This past Christmas he made a special request. We were so happy to be able to help (thanks to some year-end gifts). Following is an English translation of his thank-you letter to Viva Bolivia:

Viva Bolivia is a blessing for many leaders who follow the way of Jesus Christ.

My name is Josué and in my prayers I was asking God for a job where I could practice my career and God led me to Viva Bolivia. I work in coffee production and have the opportunity to practice accounting. God has provided me the opportunity to be a good man and to be able to serve in many ways.

My wife had problems with her pregnancy and we went to many hospitals to ask how we could solve the problem and they gave us the option of an operation (cesarean section). I did not know what to do! My wife and son were at risk of death if we could not get the operation and we didn't have the money to pay for the operation. I decided to pray and leave everything in the hands of God. Now with Viva Bolivia and our Lord who helped me with my family we were able to have the surgery! I know now that our Lord has plans for each of us and one of them was to take me to Viva Bolivia through God who helped me financially.

My first child was born on 12/27/2012 at 8:30am. Both mom and baby are healthy and happy. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to experience being a dad of a beautiful child.

Josue and his first born!

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Christmas in Alto Cochabamba
For a number of years Juan José volunteered at the King of Kings Church in Alto Cochabamba. He helped with music and helped to lead a program for local children. He is no longer able to volunteer on a regular basis, but still has a real heart for this church. This year they approached him with a request to help buy gifts for their annual Christmas celebration. Viva Bolivia was pleased to be able to assist Juan in this endeavor. On Christmas Day in the evening, nearly 55 children were present (and received gifts), along with their moms and dads. The church sent the following photos and a thank-you letter signed by the local leadership.

In front of the ChurchChildren as they listen to the Christmas message

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Celebrating 2012 as a Team
Viva Bolivia started an annual tradition of holding a special lunch for all our employees and their families on the last day of work for the year. Juan José has continued this tradition at VBPS. This year the lunch was held on December 22, 2012 at Páprika in Cochabamba and the whole team was there, including: Juan José, María Elena, Mary Cruz, Josué and his wife and Cristian and his wife and son. Viva Bolivia was pleased to provided a special grant to sponsor this annual team-building experience.

VBPS SRL Annual Team Lunch


Update: December 5, 2012

Senior de Santiago Elementary School
For the past several years Viva Bolivia has sponsored extra classes for children who are falling behind academically. Actually, we sponsor a teacher-leader who wants to help these kids do better. This bit of extra help goes a long way toward helping the children in their education. The school is located just outside of Cochabamba.

This year's classes just finished up and Rosmery (their teacher) made some treats and invited Viva Bolivia to celebrate with her class. This year she focused on language and math. The photos below are from that celebration. Representatives from the staff, administration and the parents were all present to celebrate the kids achievements and each child received a small gift from Viva Bolivia. Juan José represented VB at the celebration.

Rosmery in ActionFriends

We did it!

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Camp Pocoata in Potosí
Earlier this year we helped to sponsor a youth camp in Potosí. Actually, we purchased games, plates and glasses that were used at the camp by the camp leader we sponsored, Alfredo Martínez Choque. Alfredo has a real heart for camp ministry and finds that these events can make a big difference in the lives of young teens. He also finds that the camps help to bring the community together and to foster communication and better relations in general. Alfredo tells us that more than 300 teens participated in this year's camp.

Tug a War Lunch Time!

The Tunnel Game


Update: November 18, 2012

Valle Hermoso Children's Home
Valle Hermoso recently celebrated their 10th year! We are excited to look back and see how many lives have been changed for the better. Check our their Web site (click the image below) for more information. You will get to practice your Norwegian, because most of the sponsors are from Norway. Viva Bolivia is pleased to continue to be a part of the work at Valle Hermoso through Viva Bolivia Productos y Servicios SRL in Bolivia.

Valle Hermoso

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Roxana's Newly Minted Law License
Roxana completed the last step in earning her law license in Bolivia. She earned her degree in 2008, but has been working since then to pass the "bar" in Bolivia and she recently sent us a copy of her newly minted license! We are celebrating with her and her two daughters.

Roxana's New License

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The Next Step Toward Sustainability
While Karin and Jonathan were in Bolivia for five months this past year (late 2011 and early 2012) they were able to help Viva Bolivia Productos y Servicios SRL take the next step toward sustainability! They offered Juan (who was already 70% owner) the opportunity to purchase the remaining 30% of the company. So, now he is the full owner of VBPS SRL!

Viva Bolivia now hires his company to be our representative in Bolivia, distributing grants and providing professional services on our behalf. This step was good for Juan and also for Viva Bolivia because all the proceeds from the sale were donated to Viva Bolivia to help with future grants to support our mission of leadership and development in Bolivia. To see some of the impact Juan's company is having, check out his clients page. The photos below are from earlier transfers that we made along the way as Juan took on more and more responsibility for VBPS SRL.

Juan and Jonathan after visiting the notary to hand over more of VBPS SRL to Juan  Juan and the VBPS team.


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leadership and sustainable development within Bolivia.


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