More Links in News & Events

Attaining a Culture of Peace in Bolivia

In Bolivia, political disputes often escalate to the brink of conflict. One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Bolivia's ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as struggles over natural resources, fuel strong social and economic tensions.

But training provided by The Carter Center to nearly 3,000 Bolivians, including civic organizations, social groups, departmental authorities, and young political leaders, is helping to create both specific conflict resolution skills and greater political will for dialogue.

"We are providing comprehensive training programs to help Bolivians resolve disputes more peacefully," said Jennifer McCoy, director of the Carter Center's Americas Program. "The goal is to broaden space for constructive dialogue and to increase tolerance among people with different points of view and circumstances."

The training has proved beneficial for resolving issues from land disputes to domestic violence.

"It was helpful to learn to analyze conflicts," said Gabriela Gomez Garcia, who works for the National Institute for Agrarian Reform (INRA), which returns land to indigenous communities. "Especially to look for the causes – the why and for what – that helps you figure out how to deal with the problem. In daily life we are always using the tools we learned from the seminars."

Rita Jimenez Huancollo also attended a Carter Center-led training. She is coordinator of the Integrated Justice Center (CIJ) in La Paz and meets with families to mediate domestic violence disputes and other issues to resolve them peacefully. She believes that resolving disagreements at the family level will also help Bolivia.

"The conflict within the family causes a lot of the country's conflicts," she said. "The culture of peace that we want starts at a personal and family level – if we have a society of satisfied people talking from their hearts, it will translate into less social conflict."

The courses are led by Alejandro Nató, a mediator specializing in public conflicts, who said the trainings aim to expand the range of thinking about social and political unrest in Bolivia and create space for dialogue.

"My work in Bolivia marked a turning point for me both professionally and personally," said Nató. "I had the privilege of working with a diverse group of people across the country, from students to the indigenous community to leaders of social movements, who inspired me with their dedication to improving their country. This program has been very worthwhile."

Gabriela Gomez Garcia. Gabriela Gomez Garcia works for the INRA (National Institute for Agrarian Reform) in Bolivia, which returns land to indigenous communities. She said the Carter Center's training has helped INRA to work in a more integrated way, to communicate better, show teamwork, and identify the root causes of problems they encounter.
family CIJ bolivia A family waits outside Rita Jimenez Huancollo's office at the Integrated Justice Center in La Paz, Bolivia. Huancollo mediates conflicts at the family level and said her training with The Carter Center helped her learn how to better deal with issues of domestic violence. She believes that a culture of peace begins at the personal and family level. Donate Now Sign Up for Email Updates Email Address: Enter Your Email Address Spam Control Text: Please leave this field empty Submit Learn more about the Carter Center's work in Bolivia > Aug. 17, 2009: Carter Center-Trained Bolivian Mediator Helps Families, Individuals Resolve Conflicts >

Learn more about the Carter Center's work in Bolivia >

Aug. 17, 2009: Carter Center-Trained Bolivian Mediator Helps Families, Individuals Resolve Conflicts >

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top