A day in Cochabamba

Photography by Steve Camargo

Nancy is 37 years old and the mother of two children. She lives in the Pacata Alta zone on the Eastern slope of the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Pacata Alta is home to more than 25,000 inhabitants, mostly migrant miners who relocated there in the 1980s.

It is also home to the Edmundo Bojanowski Alternative Education Centre (AEC). This is where Nancy started to take gastronomy classes that changed her life and that of her family.

The Edmundo Bojanowski Alternative Education Centre, with the support of DVV International, offers young people and adults primary education, secondary education, as well as classes in gastronomy, accounting, textile manufacturing and computer systems. Classes are offered in two shifts, in the afternoon and evening. The AEC reaches altogether more than 400 participants between the age of 15 and 50.

Many of the women who participate have children. Some of them are single mothers living in precarious situations. With classes running in the afternoon and in the evening, the centre allows these women to work during the day. Many of the participants started their own businesses after attending the gastronomy class. This is what Nancy did when she established her family shop and restaurant with the support of her sisters. Today 15 people earn their livelihoods in the enterprise, including children, nephews and other relatives.

Working, learning and caring for a family is a tough job. Nancy is always busy, but also very proud of what she has achieved.

Bolivian photographer Steve Camargo spent a day with Nancy for Adult Education and Development, showing us how education has changed her life.