Bolivia is one of the least-developed countries in the Western hemisphere. With 65 percent of its population living in poverty, it is the poorest country in South America.
In the Municipality of Coroico, where the College is located, 40 percent of the population lives in poverty, almost exclusively in rural areas. Average annual income for families is about $2,000 per year. However, some students who study at the College come from subsistence farming families that earn as a little as $1 a day.
Access to education, particularly higher education, is unaffordable for the overwhelming majority of young people living in Bolivia’s rural area. Though there are public universities in the capital city of La Paz, the cost is prohibitive for Bolivians from the countryside and the areas of study do not address the needs and realities of rural populations.