Posted by Praveen Prasad, WAM NY Chair
Bolivia is South America’s poorest country, with about 60 percent of the population of 9.1 million mired in poverty. The poor have inadequate opportunities to improve their human capital (e.g., through quality education, particularly secondary and above), despite recent progress in access to basic education. This results in low labor productivity and restricted access to better-paying jobs. Women in Bolivia do not live in conditions of equity with regard to men. Illiteracy among women is greater and women tend to have a low income generating capacity. The maternal mortality rate in Bolivia is one of the highest in the world. While, important progress has been made recently with regard to women's participation in economic and political decision making, there are still huge challenges for the poor in Bolivia to afford decent housing given the chronic poverty levels.
For Bolivians, housing is one of the most critical issues. This is an especially acute issue as more and more rural residents continue their migration into the major population centers of La Paz and Santa Cruz. Statistics show that out of the total population of approximately 10 million people, a majority of families live in sub-standard housing conditions in which many structures have no more than a dirt floor.
Follow Ingrid Vaca Diez, who is on a mission to build better homes for the poor. With few funds and little support, she uses the only resource she can find in abundance - empty plastic bottles. Her inspiring story of is yet another example of women leading their communities out of poverty and finding solutions to social and economic issues affecting the daily lives of the poor.
WAM NY Marketing Committee.