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 ::   Bolivia  ::  

Fe y Alegria in Bolivia

Historical summary
Lines of action
New challengess

Historical summary

Fe y Alegría en Bolivia (6Kb)Fe y Alegria Bolivia, since its founding in 1966, has striven to respond to the needs of the poor urban and rural populations for integral, quality educational services; it seeks to provide this education especially to those who are hindered from attaining personal development and social participation because of discrimination, whether economic, socio-political, ethnico-cultural, or for reasons of gender, age or disability.   From its origins it has defined itself as a Movement for Popular Education and Social Development and has thus manifested the diversity of its beneficiaries and the breadth of its educational services, which are directly related with economic, social, political, cultural and religious development.

Fe y Alegría en Bolivia (6Kb)Fe y Alegria began its activities with an agreement with the Bolivian government which allowed for the opening of seven schools and a steady expansion thereafter.  The strong support of the Society of Jesus, which is the institution responsible for the orientation and operation of Fe y Alegria in this country, has been a key factor in the sustained drive of its activities.

By 1972 some 90 educational centers were in existence, and the efficiency of the Fe y Alegria model had been demonstrated, both as regards attention to educational needs and as regards community participation in the search for solutions to problems.  From that point on the expansion has been accompanied by efforts geared to the professional improvement of the teachers, to social and pedagogical reflection, to the search for better responses to the country’s age-old problems, to curriculum development,  to the design of educational material and to activities which favor institutional development.

Fe y Alegria is now present in the nine departments of Bolivia with 403 schools and other centers of attention for a variety of educational and social development programs.

Lines of action

  1. Formal Education: Alternative Popular Intercultural Bilingual Education at three levels: Pre-primary, Primary and Seconddary, Extension education: Radio Education Institute (IRFA).
  2. Non-formal Education: Yachay Wasis (Houses of Knowledge), Empowering of fathers and mothers, Youth Apostolate, Prevention of violence in the schools.
  3. Special Education:  Learning problems, School integration, Trade training, Family empowerment.
  4. Technical training:  Professional technical training, Trade training, Work orientation.
  5. Evangelizing Line:  Transversal line that promotes values development of the person in all areas, nivels and modalities of educational services of Fe y Alegría with a diversity of strategies to reach this goal.
  6. Formative Line: Transversal line that offers to the staff of Fe y Alegria opportunities of development not only in professional facts but in an integral human development through actualization, formation and capacitation strategies.


  1. Significant contributions to improving the quality of public education, as well as the creation of new methods in the area of Popular Education and Social Development.
  2. Anticipating the educative reform, Fe y Alegria worked on the design and development of the formal education curriculum and demonstrated that not only was it possible to modify the traditional education centered on teaching, but it was also possible to change the rules of the relationships between educational actors, thus overcoming vertical lines of authority and assuring that teachers, parents and students all become privileged participants in the definition of the educational processes.
  3. The Yachay Wasis (Houses of Knowledge) are a worthy example of the non-formal education that Fe y Alegria offers.  These houses are located in the most depressed rural zones and receive children and young people of school age with the goal of helping them get into schools and of fortifying their ethno-cultural identity.
  4. Fe y Alegria offers special education which is pioneering in its attention to the needs of the poorest sectors; it is geared to opening up space in society so that handicapped children can be integrated into regular schools and attain skills which allow them to obtain work.
  5. Technical education is linked by innovative experiences to the world of production; emphasis is put on showing society the importance of its contribution to the training of human resources and its relation to development processes.
  6. Extension education by means of the pioneering service of the radio promotes literacy and  regular education and has brought schooling to geographically isolated populations.
  7. Efficiency in management is due in large part to the well-organized utilization of resources, to the participation of the community, to the capacity for innovation and to the mystique of service which characterizes Fe y Alegria.

New challenges

  1. To promote an education of every higher quality and greater equity.
  2. To promote and consolidate educational proposals which respond to the scientific and technological needs of the epoch and, at the same time, recognize the cultural wisdom and  values of the people.
  3. To generate a focusing strategy for services which concentrates, both in geographic and demographic terms, our institutional efforts to the people who have least opportunity, giving priority to those social groups which suffer discrimination for reasons of ethnicity, culture, poverty, gender or disability.
  4. To develop diverse strategies to obtain support from private enterprise and wealthy sectors to help sustainability of the educational services of Fe y Alegría.
  5. To consolidate the Corporative Image in the Bolivian society to gain its support for the institutional work in favor of the excluded people.

Director: Rafael García Mora, S.J.
Oficina: Plaza Isabel la Católica 2519
(Miraflores) Casilla N° 45, La Paz - Bolivia
Teléfono: (591) 2 - 2445711 / 2445712 / 2445713
Fax: (591) 2 - 22313352
Correo-e general:
Correo director: