City & Municipality
Skyline of Cochabamba
Flag of Cochabamba
Coat of arms of Cochabamba
Coat of arms
"City of Eternal Spring"
"The Garden City"
"La Llajta"
Cochabamba is located in Bolivia
Location in Bolivia
Coordinates: 17°23′S 66°10′W / 17°23′S 66°10′W / -17.383; -66.167(2012 Census)[1]
 • Urban
 • Metro
ClimateOfficial website

Cochabamba (Aymara: Quchapampa; Quechua: Quchapanpa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and the fourth largest city in Bolivia, with a population of 630,587 according to the 2012 Bolivian census.[1] Its name is from a compound of the Quechua words qucha "lake" and pampa, "open plain."[2] Residents of the city and the surrounding areas are commonly referred to as cochalas or, more formally, cochabambinos.

It is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" or "The Garden City" because of its spring-like temperatures all year round. It is also known as "La Llajta," which means "town" in Quechua.


Palacio Portales built for mining magnate Simon Patiño
Sarco Templo la Merced
Exterior view of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cochabamba.
Casa Grande, Cochabamba

Pre-Inca and Inca

The Cochabamba valley has been inhabited for thousands of years due to its fertile productive soils and mild climate. Archaeological evidence suggests that the initial inhabitants were of indigenous ethnic groups: Tiwanaku, Tupuraya, Mojocoya, Omereque, and Inca inhabited the valley at times before the Spanish arrived.[3]

The area got its name, from Quechua Kochaj-pampa, as part of the Inca civilization. The area was conquered by Topa Inca Yupanqui (ruled 1471-1493). His son Huayna Capac turned Cochabamba into a large production enclave or state farm to serve the Incas. Possibly depopulated during the conquest, Huayna Capac imported 14,000 people, called mitimas, to work the land. The principal crop was maize which could not be grown in much of the high and cold heartland of the Inca Empire. The maize was stored in 2,400 storehouses (qollqas) in the hills overlooking the valley or transported by llama caravan to storage sites in Paria, Cusco, of other Inca administrative centers. Most of the maize was probably used to sustain the Inca army during its campaigns.[4]

Spanish and Bolivian

The first Spanish inhabitant of the valley was Garci Ruiz de Orellana in 1542. He purchased the majority of the land from local tribal chiefs Achata and Consavana through a title registered in 1552 at the Imperial City of Potosí. The price paid was 130 pesos. His residence, known as the House of Mayorazgo, stands in the Cala Cala neighborhood.

The city, called Villa de Oropesa, was founded on 2 August 1571 by order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa. It was to be an agricultural production centre to provide food and wood[5] for the mining towns of the relatively nearby Altiplano region, particularly Potosí which became one of the largest and richest cities in the world during the 16th and 17th centuries — funding the vast wealth that ultimately made Spain a world power. In fact, Anthropologist Jack Weatherford and others have cited the city of Potosí as the birth of capitalism because of the money it and materialism it provided Spain.[6] Thus, with the silver mining industry in Potosi at its height, Cochabamba thrived during its first centuries. However, the city entered a period of decline during the 18th century as mining began to wane.

In 1786, King Charles III of Spain renamed the city to the 'loyal and valiant' Villa of Cochabamba. This was done to commend the city's pivotal role in suppressing the indigenous rebellions of 1781 in Oruro by sending armed forces to Oruro to quell the uprisings. Since the late 19th century it has again been generally successful as an agricultural centre for Bolivia.

The 1793 census shows that the city had a population of 22,305 persons. There were 12,980 mestizos, 6,368 Spaniards, 1,182 indigenous natives, 1,600 mulattos and 175 African slaves.

In 1812, Cochabamba was the site of a riot against the Spanish Army. On May 27, thousands of women took up arms against the Spanish. According to historian Nathaniel Aguirre: "From Cochabamba, many men have fled. Not one woman. On the hillside, a great clamor. Cochabamba's plebeian women, at bay, fight from the center of a circle of fire. Surrounded by five thousand Spaniards, they resist with battered tin guns and a few arquebuses; and they fight to the last yell, whose echoes will resound throughout the long war for independence. Whenever his army weakens, General Manuel Belgrano will shout those words which never fail to restore courage and spark anger. The general will ask his vacillating soldiers: 'Are the women of Cochabamba present?"[7]

To celebrate their bravery, Bolivia now marks May 27 as Mother's Day.[8]

In 1900, the population was 21,886.

Besides a number of schools and charitable institutions, the diocese has 55 parishes, 80 churches and chapels, and 160 priests.[citation needed]

In 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to give Bolivia a loan of $138 million to control inflation and promote economic growth. However, it only agreed to do so on the condition that Bolivia sell "all remaining public enterprises," including its national oil refineries and the local water company, SEMAPA.[9] In 1999, a group of private investors, specifically the Bechtel Corporation, came together under the name of Aguas del Tunari and bought the rights for the privatization of the city's water.[10] In that same year, the World Bank (WB) refused to subsidize the water to help lower the cost for the people. Then in 2000, the people of Cochabamba began to protest as water priced hiked to a 50% increase that the majority could not afford.[11] The Coalition for the Defense of Water and Life, and its leader Oscar Olivera, started a demonstration in La Plaza 14 de Septiembre also known as La Plaza Principal. The march was meant to be peaceful, but after two days the police used tear gas against the protestors and injured about 175 people and blinded two. Soon after, news reports were made about the protests and the violence.[9] The Defense of Water and Life held an unofficial referendum and 96% of 50,000 people want Aguas del Tunari's contract to terminate, but the government refused. The protests only grew and the entire world began to watch forcing Bechtel to leave its contract and return SEMAPA to the public. Bechtel as well tried to sue the Bolivian government for $50 million but it withdrew its claim shortly after.[11] This event was soon labeled the Water Wars and became a driving force for anti-globalization projects such as the UN's decision to make water sanitation a human right and privatization of water as unethical in 2010. Additionally, the Water Wars would help spark the next revolt against the privatization of natural gases in 2003 to 2005 that would lead to the removal of two presidents and the rise of President Evo Morales in 2006.[12]

In January 2007 city dwellers clashed with mostly rural protestors, leaving four dead and over 130 injured. The first democratically elected Prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, had allied himself with the leaders of Bolivia's Eastern Departments in a dispute with President Evo Morales over regional autonomy and other political issues. The protestors blockaded the highways, bridges, and main roads, having days earlier set fire to the departmental seat of government, trying to force the resignation of Reyes Villa. Citizens attacked the protestors, breaking the blockade and routing them, while the police did little to stop the violence. Further attempts by the protestors to reinstate the blockade and threaten the government were unsuccessful, but the underlying tensions have not been resolved.

In July 2007, a monument erected by veterans of January's protest movement in honor of those killed and injured by government supporters was destroyed in the middle of the night, reigniting racial conflicts in the city.

In August 2008, a nationwide referendum was held. The prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, was not confirmed by the voters of the department. The mayor of Cochabamba in 2018 Karen.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Cochabamba
العربية: كوتشابامبا
Aymar aru: Quchapampa
беларуская: Качабамба
български: Кочабамба
བོད་ཡིག: ཀོ་ཅ་བང་ལྦ་
català: Cochabamba
čeština: Cochabamba
Cymraeg: Cochabamba
dansk: Cochabamba
Deutsch: Cochabamba
eesti: Cochabamba
español: Cochabamba
euskara: Cochabamba
فارسی: کوچابامبا
galego: Cochabamba
한국어: 코차밤바
Bahasa Indonesia: Cochabamba
italiano: Cochabamba
עברית: קוצ'במבה
ქართული: კოჩაბამბა
Кыргызча: Кочабамба
lietuvių: Kočabamba
magyar: Cochabamba
македонски: Кочабамба
Māori: Cochabamba
Bahasa Melayu: Cochabamba
Dorerin Naoero: Cochabamba
Nederlands: Cochabamba (stad)
norsk: Cochabamba
norsk nynorsk: Cochabamba
occitan: Cochabamba
português: Cochabamba
română: Cochabamba
русский: Кочабамба
Scots: Cochabamba
slovenščina: Cochabamba
ślůnski: Cochabamba
suomi: Cochabamba
svenska: Cochabamba
Türkçe: Cochabamba
українська: Кочабамба
vepsän kel’: Kočabamb
Tiếng Việt: Cochabamba
Volapük: Cochabamba
Winaray: Cochabamba
中文: 科恰班巴