March 2017

The message behind CBA's calendar

This year is CBA's 60th anniversary, the year it released its wonderful and inspiring calendar, which is a product they offer to Cochabamba's community.

By: Rebecca Nielsen
Projects Abroad Volunteer


Photos by: Ximena Noya

The calendar from Centro Boliviano Americano ("CBA") is not only a calendar with beautiful pictures and dates. It is much more than that. Not only does it have many interesting pictures, but also plenty of useful information, such as cultural and other matters in and from Cochabamba. Its corresponding dates mention national holidays, environmental issues, and the lunar cycles. The calendars involve so many different things, just like CBA itself. In fact, CBA is an institution with many uses and values. CBA's executive director, María Julia Suárez says, "CBA is not only an institute for English teaching. It is much more than that. CBA is a nonprofit binational cultural association founded on August 23, 1957. Its mission is to promote the formation of human resources in the region and the understanding between the peoples of Bolivia and the United States through certain activities. Students are taught English, but if you are a tourist, you can also learn Spanish. Also, it has a bilingual public library called "Abraham Lincoln," where anyone can go to study or read books. The calendars have been published every year since 1989. "It started as an idea of Silvia Quiroga, who was the culture coordinator at that moment, to have something to show to our community the world from our artist. That's how they started. We wanted to show people in Cochabamba the work of an artist. We decided these to be art calendars in the beginning. Since 2005, we changed them to cultural calendars because we started with something that was just cultural but not necessarily artistic. Changing the name of an art calendar to a cultural calendar offered us a larger range of themes. Now we have a very strong influence regarding animal awareness. We started with themes regarding bats, frogs, and birds. So, we created calendars showing the danger of animal extinction," says María Julia Suárez.

horrible. Then I think, 'This is awful! I know the family history and the violence, and now he has to go back."

CBA is a nonprofit binational cultural association founded on August 23, 1957


Since 2005, we changed them to cultural calendars because we started with something that was just cultural but not necessarily artistic.
Photos by: Ximena Noya

"For example, bats are not cute animals so people want to destroy them. However, they are important for the balance of nature. They are useful as forests could not exist without bats. This is the information we want people to know about," says a CBA staff member.
Animal extinction is obviously a reality in Bolivia, so CBA hopes to increase people's awareness with their calendars full of pictures and facts. As with CBA, the calendars educate those who read them, increasing their knowledge and awareness. The calendar provides information about culture, history, nature, and much more. For example, CBA created a calendar with glassworks. "We created a calendar with glassworks from Cochabamba, which many people in Cochabamba don't know exist. Maybe only tourists. So, we are explaining different issues, and by this manner we provide information," says María Julia Suárez.


Photos by: Ximena Noya

For example, bats are not cute animals so people want to destroy them. However, they are important for the balance of nature.

Therefore, it is obviously a good opportunity to learn more about Cochabamba, whether it concerns animals, nature, art, culture, or glass pictures/ glasswork. Thanks to all this information and wonderful pictures about a specific theme, it is different from other calendars, making it special Maybe that's why people like it!


Photos by: Ximena Noya

The calendar has been a success since its first edition in 1989. People come and buy them for their low prices, but for the most part CBA gives them away as gifts. Nowadays, Rolando Ribera S. creates the calendar with a team. Ribera is CBA's Educational Advisor. "The hardest part is to find an idea and where we can find resources. It is difficult to find photographers who want to take photographs for free and, since most of the calendars are given away for free, we have to find resources that do not cost too much money," he says. They really want to continue making calendars and the new board of directors currently agree, but they cost plenty because CBA donates them more often than not. So, these calendars contribute to a good cultural understanding of Cochabamba to the tourists and locals through their beautiful pages.

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