Sustainable Bolivia

Santa Barbara, CA   |  www.sustainablebolivia.org

Mission

Sustainable Bolivia is a non-profit organization with its main office in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Our primary objective is to provide Bolivian organizations much needed human and financial resources while providing international students and professionals the opportunity to gain practical work experience through internships and volunteer opportunities in Bolivia.

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Erik Taylor

National Director

Ryan M Greer

Main address

1374 B Danielson Road

Santa Barbara, CA 93108 USA

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EIN

26-2203873

NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

International Relief (Q33)

International Studies (V35)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Scholarship Program

Unfortunately many gifted and ambitious Bolivian students do not have the opportunity to attend university as it is financially unattainable. Young men and women are often forced to enter the workforce at a very young age, and are thereby unable to realize their full academic and professional potential. This situation leads to a cycle where individuals with limited resources are never able to pursue higher education and must accept lower paying jobs. In an effort to help break this cycle, Sustainable Bolivia has developed a scholarship program aimed at supporting low-income students who demonstrate a potential for future success.

Population(s) Served

For nearly two years Sustainable Bolivia provided housing to Scottish-born painter Thomas “Mac” McGreggor. Through Mac, SB met many local and international artists and quickly became involved in Cochabamba’s art community. In an effort to maintain this cultural exchange, as well as develop a tradition within our organization, SB decided to work alongside local artists to develop an art residency program.

The residency program is available to all artists from any country regardless of age, gender, or medium. The residency focuses on the disciplines of visual arts but we will also consider applications from other mediums including creative writing, music and dance. Preference will be given to those with Spanish language skills.

Population(s) Served

The Sustainable Bolivia Film Project was conceived in early 2009 with the goal of making a series of short documentaries which highlight the work of our partner organizations. Much of the work being done by our partners is unknown outside the small sphere within which they operate, and these documentaries are a useful tool to tell the story of their origins, aims and methods. Furthermore, the act of making a documentary is also a project in itself; a chance to involve the community in the process of constructing an archive which will then be presented to its various members and kept as a memory for future generations.

Through a medium which extends beyond conventional outreach models, these documentaries are used for both fundraising and informative purposes. They provide both a voice for personal stories and a method of bringing abstract issues to life. Finally, these films strike a balance between the harsher realities of Bolivian life with the perseverance, energy and happiness that is prevalent within our partner organizations.

Population(s) Served

In February 2009, Sustainable Bolivia’s staff met to develop a new system to aid our partner organizations while providing increased transparency and volunteer/intern involvement. We decided to implement a mini grant program whereby each volunteer is given funds to spend on a project at his or her volunteer location.

Unlike most foreign aid organizations, Sustainable Bolivia’s volunteers are in the unique position of working at the recipient location with first-hand knowledge of their most desperate needs. Working alongside local staff, volunteers and interns will design a project, or make purchases, to address these needs. This will provide the volunteer with additional responsibilities and further incorporate them into their place of work. Additionally it will provide increased transparency over how the funds are allocated assuring that they appropriately reach their intended recipients.

All volunteers will be provided a mini grant application form and have access to a minimum of $75 a month; thus a volunteer staying for four months will have a minimum of $300 available to them. Alternatively, volunteers may opt to have their mini-grant funds roll over to the next volunteer thereby increasing the available funds. We also encourage fundraising especially if the costs of the project or purchases exceed the allotted amount. We hope this will encourage additional fundraising allowing us to provide more assistance to our partners.

Population(s) Served

Sustainable Bolivia is dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability within our organization and in the larger community. In an effort to practice what we preach, we track both the resource footprint of our physical operations, as well as the local and global impacts that occurs through our programs.

To ensure continued action towards sustainability, SB has a sustainability intern who works with us for three months each year to launch new initiatives and programming. Our first sustainability intern during the summer of 2011 organized our first comprehensive Sustainability Report on the social, economic and environmental impact of the organization; it serves as a current snapshot as well as a baseline to measure future progress. We encourage all potential volunteers to read this brief document to learn more about our vision.

The 2012 sustainability internship focused on implementing and expanding on-site environmental projects at our location in Cochabamba, Bolivia. These include expanded food gardening, grey-water recycling and composting systems, as well as education and awareness-building among our volunteers.

In 2013, we continued to monitor our sustainability efforts and build partnerships within the community. In 2014, we will be seeking a sustainability intern to focus on sustainability education among our volunteers – helping volunteers better understand current opportunities and challenges in creating sustainable communities worldwide. Volunteers will have the chance to learn about the systems that we have in place, try using sustainable technologies, and learn about the diversity of perspectives around global sustainability.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Financials

Sustainable Bolivia
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Sustainable Bolivia

Board of directors
as of 07/02/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization