The community of Chiwirapi belongs to the municipality (county) of Bolivar (in the department or “state” of Cochabamba); which is one of the 30 poorest municipalities in Bolivia. This puts Chiwirapi in the poorest county in the poorest country of South America. Chiwirapi is an indigenous community located in a valley in the Andes Mountains 12071 feet above sea level.
The community has a basic electric system that feeds only a few homes. It currently does not have a working potable water distribution system. Their main water source is a river that runs through the town. Unfortunately the river is downstream from the main town of Bolivar; which means it is contaminated, and the people in the community have no way of purifying it aside from boiling the water. Due to the fact that Chiwirapi is located close to a river with seasonal flow, access to the community is extremely limited during the rainy season (Oct. – March).
The University of Idaho EWB chapter adopted this project in October 2011. The chapter is planning to do their assessment trip this coming Fall 2012.