Quchapampa better known as Cochabamba is a city located in Central Bolivia in a valley that shares the same name in the Andes mountain range. The name “Quchapampa” comes from the Quechua words; qucha, meaning “lake” and pampa, meaning “open plain”.
It is the fourth largest city in the country, with a population of over 1,938,401 people.
Due to its fertile soil and climate, the valley was inhabited for over a thousand years. There’s archaeological evidence that suggests that the initial inhabitants of the valley (before the Spanish arrived) were of numerous indigenous ethic groups such as the; Incas, Mojocoya, Omereque, and Tiwanaku. Its mild climate permits extensive agriculture such as; coffee, cocoa beans, potatoes, grains, sugar cane, tobacco, fruit, and coca leaves.
In 1542 Garci Ruiz de Orellana was the first Spanish inhabitant of the valley, who purchased the vast majority of land for 130 pesos from the local tribal chiefs; Achata and Consavana in 1552. In the Cala Cala neighborhood Garci Ruiz de Orellana residence is known as the house of Mayorazgo. On August 2nd 1571 the Oropesa city was founded by order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa. King Charles III of Spain changed the cities name to the “Loyal and Valiant” Villa of Quchapampa in 1786. During the 17th century Potosi became one of the richest and largest cities in the world, due to its silver mining industry, this wealth funded Spain making it a world power. With the silver mining at its peak in Potosi, the valley also thrived during the 17th century. Unfortunately during the 18th century mining began to wane and the city entered a period of economic decline. As of the 19th century this city has again become a successful agricultural Centre for Bolivia. It’s also one of Bolivia’s most socially and economically progressive cities, with Spanish being the most widely spoken language. As the industrial hub of Bolivia, this city produces cement, cosmetics, cars, chemicals, and cleaning products. The Boliviana de Aviacion or Bolivian airline has its headquarters in this city, the Lloyd Aereo Boliviano defunct airline (LAB Airlines) has it management offices in the Jorge Wilsrermann Airport. The University of San Simon is one of the most prominent and largest public universities in Bolivia and is also located in Cochabamba. Other nearby universities are; Universidad de Aquino Bolivia, Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo”, Universidad del Valle, Universidad Simón I. Patiño, Universidad Privada Boliviana, and Escuela Militar de Ingeniería “Antonio José de Sucre”. The modern Jorge Wilstermann International Airport in Cochabamba handles domestic and international flights. It also headquarters of the Boliviana de Aviacion (BOA) Bolivia’s own national airline and the Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, Bolivia’s former national airline. Other domestic airlines that are available are; Ecojet, Transportes Aereo Militar, and Amazonas. This city is a rapidly growing market within the Bolivian real estate. In 2010 it overpassed Santa Cruz and La Paz as the city with the most construction in Bolivia.
The valley, also known as the “City of Eternal Spring” and “The Garden City” because of its spring like temperatures all year round. Located at 17 degrees south of the equator this city enjoys a semiarid climate, meaning, tropical days and cool nights. One of the characteristics of the valleys climate is the extended dry season that starts in May and ends in October, and the rainy season that generally starts in November and ends in March.