Cochabamba

From Academic Kids

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A side street in Cochabamba, looking towards the Plaza 14 de Septiembre

Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the third-largest city in Bolivia with a metropolitan population of more than 800,000 people. The name derives from a compound of the Quechua words qhocha, or lake, and pampa, or open plain.

The city was founded on August 2, 1571 by orders of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo. It was to be an agricultural production center to provide food for the mining towns of the relatively nearby Altiplano region, particularly the city of Potos. With the silver mining industry at its height, Cochabamba thrived during its first centuries of existence. The city entered a period of decline during the 18th century as mining began to wane. However, since the late 19th century is has again been generally successful as an agricultural center for Bolivia.

Currently, Cochabamba is an economically active city and tends to be one of the more socially liberal locations in the nation. Like other large cities in the Andes, Cochabamba is a city of contrasts. Its downtown core, around areas such as Plaza Coln or Plaza 14 de Septiembre, is generally quite modern. There are bright lights, bustling streets, and countless automobiles and internet cafes. It is in these locations where the majority of the city's business and commercial industries are found. An active nightlife is centered around Calle Espaa (Spain Street) and also along a broad tree-lined boulevard called El Prado. As one moves further out from the city-center, however, the communities become less technologically advanced. Cochabamba's outlaying neighborhoods often find themselves with higher crime rates and lacking electricity, indoor plumbing, and paved streets.

South America's biggest open-air market, called La Cancha, is open seven days a week in Cochabamba. The city is also the home of the Universidad Mayor de San Simn, one of the largest and most prominent public universities in Bolivia, as well as several smaller colleges. Residents of the city and surrounding areas are commonly referred to as Cochabambinos.

Cochabamba is served by Jorge Wilstermann Airport (IATA code CBB), which handles domestic and international flights. It also houses the headquarters of Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, Bolivia's national airline.

In 2000, Cochabamba was wracked with large-scale protests over the privatization of the city's water supply. See Cochabamba protests of 2000.

External links

de:Cochabamba fr:Cochabamba (Bolivie) ja:コチャバンバ no:Cochabamba pt:Cochabamba es:Cochabamba

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