Indigenous Communities-Water





History Logs

Project Description

Region: South America

Country: Bolivia

Location: La Paz

Total Budget: $94,105

Area of Focus: Water and sanitation

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With a population of 10,647 habitants (2012), Coro Coro, was one of the most important mining areas in Bolivia because of its copper deposits and was home to the Coro Coro United Copper Mines. Due to several economic and political crises in 1985, the mining center was closed and its workers left the area. Since then, the development of the town has been stagnant. Coro Coro contains in its territory several natural heritage landmarks, such as Kuntur Jipiña, the salt lake of Jayuma Llallawa and the church of Qaqinkura (Caquingora).

These villages in Coro Coro suffer from a lack of sanitation and water infrastructure, leaving the communities vulnerable to water-related health problems. Families in these villages face many challenges such as:

o Changing weather patterns causing drought for long periods of time, impacting agriculture and the livelihoods of inhabitants;

o Long distances between dwellings, which are very scattered;

o High numbers of children and adults who become sick and/or die from diarrhea and other infectious diseases, due to contaminated drinking water.

As many other indigenous communities in El Altiplano, Coro Coro, the first municipal section of the Coro Coro Province, is facing a serious water crisis due to shrinking glaciers, extreme droughts and management challenges. With a population of 10,647 habitants (2012) is one of the most vulnerable rural areas in La Paz Bolivia since it is located in the Bolivian Andean Plateau with an elevation of 12,800 feet. The main goal of this project is to provide access to clean and safe water as well as sanitation training to four indigenous Aymara communities in the municipality of Coro Coro-Province of Coro Coro, La Paz: Phina Litoral, Phina Pallini, Quinoani y Rosapata. These four villages are isolated and their inhabitants desperately need access to safe drinking water, especially during the dry season (May-October) when water is especially scarce and often only found far from the villages. Meeting immediate water needs would allow people in these villages to pursue other activities, expanding their economy, and allowing residents to exercise more control over their living circumstances.

The population of Coro Coro has grown significantly in recent years but the current water coverage is as low as 30%. People in these villages suffers many challenges including changing weather patterns causing drought for long periods of time, impacting agriculture and the livelihoods of inhabitants. They suffer from lack of water infrastructure and sanitation, leading to water-related health problems. High numbers of children and adults who become sick and/or die from diarrhea and other infectious diseases, due to contaminated drinking water. Families including children consume water from long distance springs and wells. They have to walk long distances between dwellings, which are very scattered.

The problems identified in the Villages of Phina Litoral, Phina Pallini, Quinoani y Rosapata are as follows:

 Changing weather patterns causing drought for long periods of time, impacting agriculture and villagers' livelihoods;

 Lack of optimal water for human consumption, there are small springs in some communities, wells with little water flow which are dry and heavily contaminated with garbage and animal feces in times of low precipitation.

 High incidence of diarrheal diseases in population under 5 years old. In the dry season and during times of strong frost, extreme cold, and diminishing water supply, contaminated water allows diseases such as diarrhea, flu, coughs due to proliferate. A near majority of the children and families get sick.

 Presence of skin diseases, due to poor hygiene and lack of water. Children, due to low temperature (frost), contract skin diseases, with the skin on their faces, feet, and hands becoming dried and cracked. Due to strong cold (wind) and lack of water, families, especially children, do not wash frequently.

 The lack of protection of water sources means they are often contaminated by rats, toads, even animal feces.

 Long distance between dwellings which are very scattered; water sources are also located in distant and scattered places. Initially, water is located next to the houses; when the drought begins, nearby water sources dry up and additional water sources are far from the house.

 High rate of unhealthy conditions, due to contamination of water sources from exposure to the weather, which leaves the water polluted. Communities cannot improve their wells, due to lack of material and equipment required for proper installation of wells.


The four villages in Coro Coro lack access to safe water where families live too far from the community with virtually no access to clean water. They collect water at nearby rivers, making the population sick and the demand for potable water at home urgent. Residents of Coro Coro villages have no access to safe water at all.

The high incidence of some diseases such as diarrhea, parasitoids, etc., is caused by the consumption of untreated and/or contaminated water. In this sense, the present project aims to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases through the construction of a potable water system, to supply water for consumption by families in the different zones of the Phina Litoral, Phina Pallini, Quinoani y Rosapata.

Another feature of the area, is the expanses of land, making it very difficult to access the water resource. Although some families have rustic wells and other natural springs, most consume water from the rivers with the presence of saline concentrates and other pollution minerals. For the most part, the current demand of water in these four villages is for domestic use but also the lack of water resources and climatic conditions (arid) result in small, subsistence-scale production of livestock with the raising of cattle and sheep, very limited agricultural activity, producing potatoes, barley, quinoa for subsistence, leading to high rates of migration especially of the adolescent and youth population that tend to migrate in search of better life opportunities to other central cities of the country.

On the other hand, the municipality of Coro Coro, according to their municipal development program, is promoting the raising of livestock because it is an area suitable for this purpose. When implementing the project, water will also be available for cattle consumption, which will improve the supply of milk and therefore will enhance living conditions for the beneficiary families. Without reasonable access to safe, clean water, indigenous people are forced to leave their homes and cultures, migrating to urban areas where their livelihoods can worsen as they become vulnerable to economic exploitation.

3.1. Beneficiaries

In the four villages, 141 families will be directly benefited from the project. The total indirect beneficiaries will be 300 families (from 696 total population). They will also be trained in sanitation.

Primary Host Partner

District: 5520

Rotary Club of: Hobbs

Primary Contact: Bob Reid, Phd.

Email: bobreid@jfmaddox.org

Primary International Partner

District: 4690

Rotary Club of: La Paz San Jorge

Primary Contact: Mauricio Steverlynck

Email: arq.msc@gmail.com

Project Status

Need $56,237
This project needs to receive some pledges to go to the next level. Please check the "Financing" tab to see the list of current pledges. Once the amount pledged is equal to the project budget, the status of the project will be automatically changed to "Fully Pledged".
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Project listed for the 2019-20 Rotary Year.

The TRF Grant application number is #1987516.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Hobbs (5520)





La Paz San Jorge (4690)





Remaining Amount to Raise

Additional Club Contribution (Needed) - Add a contribution




Amount Requested from The Rotary Foundation






Note: as of July 1, 2015 there is a 5% additional support fee for cash contributions. This fee does not appear in the financials above because it does not apply if the funds are sent directly to the project account (without going through TRF, and therefore without Paul Harris credit). Clubs sending their cash contribution to TRF must be aware they will have to send an additional 5%.

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History Log Entries


System Entry

System Entry: Creation of project page.

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