Welcome on the English website of the foundation "Estrellas en la Calle".

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The foundation "Estrellas en la calle" is a private, non-profit institution located in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Philosophy of the foundation: human existencial christian

In the two programs  street and  prevention , we work with people who live in different conflictsituations. We believe in their possibilities, capacities and their meaning of life. This can be a help to bring positive changes. Besides the personal motivational work, we want to promote changes of their attitude and responsibility of their lives. We see them as participants in the process and respect the decisions and choices they have to make each day.

Approach of the work: integral and preventive

Integral, because the person has a bio-psycho-social-spiritual and ecological being (José Alvarez Blanco) and has a real and important existence ( It is a being who feels K. Jaspers). The integral focus looks for the most extensive apprehension about the human existence and the universe; in order to aim for a global change of the body, the mind and the soul.

Preventive, because we work with the populations that live in the situations of risk (universal/ selective prevention) and also with people who live in the streets and who show diverse problems (selective prevention in order to reduce disadvantage).

Administration and Direction

Lic. Victor Hugo Arellano (Pedagogue), Director
Vibeke Tingvoll Øen (Teacher), Vice President
Nicole Weiss (Pedagogue with focus on religion), Coordination Program "Street Work"

Dr. Raul Arellano (Lawyer) Judicial Assistance

Ana Orellana (Accountant)

Why the name?
The children and young people we work with gave the name to the Foundation and the "coyera" ( "friend"). From different preliminary activities we were playing to establish a project where the children and young people could feel indentified, a project they could make their own and where they are the players in the alternatives of activities. The aim is to establish a new identity for them.

"Stars on the street" involves all those who are often found along the streets and roads, they who don`t have many options in life, they who are marginalized of society because they are coming from broken families, with serious conflicts and where they in early life have to learn to survive.

As a team we feel they can become stars and radiate the light inside them, that they can leave the limited situations they are living in thanks to the resilience capacity which are find in each and everyone and that we have the opportunity to give them support. We see them as people with dignity, rights and obligations, with talent and potential, with flaws like everyone else.

Besides full-time workers we also have national and international volunteers working with us, who work free of charge.


Basic Spanish knowledge (if this is not the case, you have to take a Spanish course for one month in Cochabamba before starting to work)

Length of your stay: at least 6 months

If you want to stay for a shorter time you are always welcome as a visitor!

The foundation can provide a place to stay.

Lic. Vibeke Tingvoll Øen (Responsible for the volunteers)

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or if you have any questions concerning volunteering, feel free to contact Vibeke Tingvoll Øen via email:

What is the foundation "Estrellas en la calle"?
"Estrellas en la calle" is a private, non-profit institution, which works in Cochabamba, Bolivia, with children, teenagers and young adults living on the streets as well as with families living in slums. Since May 2006, "Estrellas en la calle" is officially recognized by the state of Bolivia. The foundation consists of 3 programs, whereof 2 are in function and 1 is in development:

in function:

1) Program "Street Work" (since September 2005) with the projects "Coyera" (motivating people living on the streets to change their lives) and "Rehabiliation" (working with young families and individuals who left the streets behind) and "Phoenix" (kindergarten for children living on the streets)

2) Prevention program with the project Inti Kanchay (working with socially disadvantaged teenagers and families) (since July 2006)

in development: Program "Small Enterprises"


Here you can inform yourself about our actual project
to receive donations; and, of course, you can support us:
Estrellas en la Calle at Betterplace.org

At the moment, the fundation is only financed through donations made by individuals and organizations such as churches or schools.

We ask for your support!

Each cent goes directly into the project.

Donations Account:
Banco Nacional de Bolivia (BNB)
Fundación Estrellas en la Calle (FEC)
Numero: 3900955358 (en Dollares)

Banco BISA:
Fundación Estrellas en la Calle (FEC)
164309  7016 (UFV s)
164309  6516 (Euro)

Germany - Europa:
Liga Bank eG Muenchen (BLZ: 750 903 00)
Kirchenstiftung St. Michael, Rosenheim
Asunto: Estrellas Bolivia
Numero: 234 81 95
IBAN: DE22750903000002348195

Gift ideas: Women and girls, who are living on the street or left it behind, are making cards, bracelets, clothes and purses. In doing so, we want them to get used to a regular and dignified work, develop their abilities or learn new ones. We also give them the opportunity to "get up" and to lead a "normal" life again. The products are sold in Bolivia and abroad. Each of the girls and women has her own account. The earned money is administrated by our accountant and is used for rent, milk powder, groceries and clothing for the girls and their children.

If you have any questions or would like to comment on something feel free to write a message to:

Through our work we want to improve the quality of life of families living in poverty in the slums of Cochabamba. We want to show them the possibility of leading a life in dignity.

Main Aim

Improve the quality of life of children, teenagers, young adults and families living on the streets or in other "high-risk situations". With different programs and projects; we want to meet their needs and reduce the number of people suffering.


Elaboration of projects for the rehabilitation of children, teenagers and young adults being drug-addicted.

Offering to children, teenagers and young adults living in poverty or from difficult backgrounds, different alternatives of living and opportunities to develop their personalities

Creating small enterprises to provide jobs for those participating in the projects and to find market outlets for the different products being made.

Prevention of decomposition s families.

Elaboration of projects concerning the cultural identity.

Target Group
The foundation "Estrellas en la calle" offers professional help through different projects to socially and financially disadvantaged persons: children, teenagers and young adults living or working on the streets and families living in the slums of Cochabamba (with problems such as unemployment and family breakups).

Program: attention and motivation in the streets.
Problems that are attended:

The children, teenagers and families who are living in the streets of Cochabamba, had to and have to suffer a process of destructarisation and depersonalization. In their lifes, marked by violence, they suffer of maltreatment and exploitation. With or without drugs it is predominantly financed by criminality, prostitution and beggar.


The object is to promote a process of restruction and repersonalisation for the children, teenagers and families. Instruments are the motivation and the personalisation in the three projects of the program  Attention and Motivation in the Street . The work is realised by the generation of changes of their lifestyle in order to strengthen their habilities, capacities and skills.

Proyects in this program:

Project Coyera: inizialises the first steps of the work with the groups that live in the streets. The work includes different strategies of motivation, help and accompaniment in varios areas (health, psychology, socail work, artistic, mind, school and work motivation).

Project Wiñana (social integration / reintegration): second step where we work with populations that left the street and began to change their lifestyle. There are two different groups: one who just left the street and another with people who are already part of the project and are in the process of becoming independent

Project Fenix (kindergarten): Attention and protection of children who are between zero and ten years old and who have parents who live in the street. We realise the interventional work with the children as well as with the parents.

Project Coyera
The team Coyera-Wiñana:

Why the name? Children and teenagers living on the streets gave the name to this project. "Coyera" means in their slang "Friend". We (the team) see us as friends and tutors for these children and teenagers. We want to be there for them as friends, we want to listen to them, to be the ones they can trust and we want to accompany them in their process of changing. We want to give these children, teenagers and young adults the opportunity to discover their personality and their hidden abilities deep inside. We want them to live their life in a responsible way and we are there to help them do so.

Background In 1952 there was a land reform in Bolivia, caused by a revolution of its population. Before 1952, farmer's children weren't allowed to study, the land the farmers farmed was owned by the state; women weren't allowed to vote and there was no medical care for the poorer population. Thanks to this land reform, the farmers got their land back; this means that it was divided up between them. More and more schools were built and medical care became free. But quickly, things took a turn to the worse again: Farmers now owned their own land but didn't have the tools to farm it. As a result, many had to sell off their land - mostly to big enterprises. Many left their home, also because of dry seasons or because they didn't earn enough to survive.

Many farmers (and also mine workers who worked under the worst conditions for small fee) went to the big cities like La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, because there they hoped for a better life. But also in the cities they didn't find work, because so many had the same idea. So the number of unemployment rose day by day. Families fell in deep crisis and many fathers started to drown their problems in alcohol. Violence in the families increased. The children had to contribute to the family's survival and instead of going to school they worked (polishing shoes, washing cars, selling candy...) But often, they didn't earn enough and were beaten by their parents. So many of them decided not to come back anymore, and started to live on the streets. To satisfy their hunger, they began to sniff glue ("Klefa").

Once on the streets, they soon get used to a life without rules: they enjoy not having an adult telling them what to do, not going to school, being free from homework. There are no chores and duties, it doesn't matter what they wear, if they are tidy and clean. Moreover they lose all their self-respect and sense of shame and begin to beg.

They live in the moment and you could think that they live a life full of freedom. But this is not true, because in each group there are norms. And the children and teenagers living on the streets have to join a group to survive. In those groups the right of the strongest counts. The strongest controls and leads his group as he thinks and wants. Being new in a group, you have to prove yourself and usually the others take advantage of this situation. On the other hand, there exists a lot of respect between the members and the duty to help each other, if someone needs help. Particularly small children and girls are protected. Food is divided among each other. There are high values like friendship, loyalty, colleagueship and solidarity.

Children living on the streets often have to steal in order to survive. If they get caught, they usually get beaten, mostly by the police, and mistreated. Many of them become victims of violence or fights between 2 groups. In hospitals, they are not welcome; because they live on the streets and accordingly they are dirty. So many of them die in a degrading way. Those children and teenagers bear a lot of violence, abuse and rancor.

Another big problem is HIV, many of them are infected.

Description of the Project

The project works in the fields of motivation, orientation and accompaniment with the children, teenagers and young adults living on the streets. We want them to rethink their lifestyles, discover hidden talents, learn new abilities and become aware of the life they are leading. But the main point is personal dialogue. The team respects the decisions of each one and helps to find alternatives. We work in different fields such as medical care, psychology, spirituality, education and art. In activities that we do together with them, the children and teenagers should feel free and respected. Besides that, we want to stimulate their growth from different sides.

Target Group

You have to make a difference between children living and children working on the streets.

Children living on the streets are implicated in criminality, consume drugs and lost their relationship with their families, because of being mistreated a lot. Many of them also were abandoned by their families.

On the other side there are the children working on the streets. They have contact with their families but are tempted again and again to leave because they spend so much time on the streets and are in contact with the "street children". They are always endangered to get in touch with drugs.

"Coyera" works with children living on the streets; currently with 150 children, teenagers and young adults living all over Cochabamba

Project Wiñana (social integration / reintegration)
The team Coyera-Wiñana:


Until October 2007, 36 persons (couples, singles and children) finished the project "Coyera" and started with this project. As they left the streets, they now life in their own small apartments, in orphanages or went back to their families.

These persons are motivated to stay off the streets and to lead a "normal", dignified life. In this hard process (there are often relapses) professional accompaniment and orientation is very important. That's why in January 2007 this project got started in collaboration with the psychiatry. "Rehabilitation" continues the work of "Coyera".

Description of the Project

We want to accompany the process of leaving the streets, strength them the motivation and decisions made by the persons and integrate them back into society.

Target Group

Persons who left the streets, no longer consume glue or other drugs (or try to stop it) and who are motivated to change their actual situation. We also work with teenagers and young adults in prisons that lived on the streets before.

Project Phoenix
The team

Why the name?

The name was given according to the bird "Phoenix", which arose from the ashes- a symbol for overcoming limits, problems and difficulties and a symbol for the power of a new beginning. The children, living on the streets should see in the "Phoenix" the opportunity for a better, dignified future.


Working with couples from the streets that have usually 2 to 5 children, we began to see the need of a space just for the children while the parents follow the activities.

That's why in August 2006 the kindergarten "Phoenix" with 12 children from 0 to 10 years was founded. The kindergarten was located in a room in the "Casa Azul" (the house of the foundation).

Description of the Project

"Phoenix" offers the possibility for children to play and just be a child. The focus lies on early education and prevention. The parents are embedded in this work. In the case where the parents can't take responsibility for the child, we contact orphanages or the child protection agency.

Target Group

Babies and children who live together with their parents in situation of the street (for this reason they coordinate with the project  Coyera )

Prevention Program
The team:

This program works on prevention base with persons in difficult situations: working children and teenagers and families living in the slums of Cochabamba.

The aim is to work against problems such as alcohol, violence, unemployment and families breakups and to prevent that children become "street children".

Inti Kanchay is the first project of this type.

Project "Inti K'anchay"
Why the name?

Inti K'anchay is Quechua and means "rising sun". The project was founded due to the demand of teenagers in Cochabamba, Bolivia. They see their life as the sun, which is just about to arise and shine and which gets bigger day by day. They believe that each of them is important and that they can give something out of their life to others, likewise the sun that gives light and energy.


The project started in June 2006. It is a place for teenagers to learn, to inform themselves, to grow to share their dreams, hopes and fears with others, plan their life, it is a place where they can be themselves. We work also in collaboration with their families and visit the schools and families etc.

Many of the teenagers whom we work with are children from farmers who moved to Cochabamba a long time ago. These children and teenagers are used to work since they were little.

In whole Bolivia there are currently about 800 000 children and teenagers between 6 and 19 years old working, this is 28, 5% of the whole population. These children and teenagers don't have any securities (no long-time job, no one representing their rights...) and are often exploited. There aren't even laws defending them.

Description of the Project

Inti K'anchay  is a Project which has its focus on preventive work and offer integral attention to working children and adolescents who are living in damageable conditions and in risk to suffer child abuse, school desertion, industrial and sexual exploitation, alcohol and drug consumption, life in the street and other situations of depersonalization and destructarization. The object is to prevent these situations to improve the power of the groups of children and adolescents.


Supporting the teenagers to discover and strength them their talents and abilities through different activities.

Help them to receive a good education and later to find a good job.

Show them possibilities to improve their skills.


Offering classes for parents in the slums.

Showing the teenagers how to use their free time usefully.

Opening centers in slums.

Program "Small Enterprises"

About the Program

Program aimed at the development / implementation of productive projects that are sources of employment. The lack of jobs, is clearly a risk factor for our target population and for our work. For this reason we have developed this project. We start with education / training and later production (including the continued development and training of new people in the area concerned) with focus on offering them integral and motivational help.

Program "Small Enterprises"

Currently the following projects are under implementation:

Project hammock: Production of hammocks in different models, sizes and colors for the national and international market. At first there are jobs for ten mothers of the project Inti K'anchay.

Production of crafts:
We make different crafts: cards, bracelets, bags, ponchos and other decorative objects. The aim is not only the production, but also habituation, work responsibility, patience, as well as the improvement of cognitive and psychomotor, and the auto reflection of what they know and can do.

Project restaurant:
We want to establish a leader in food services. Five families (couples) of the project Wiñana have the possibility to work there. The team is founded in formation, education and specialization of national and international meals.

Projects in consideration.

Project solar cell:
Production of ecological solar cells with innovative conceptions of Canadian friends. We want to work together with companies of Cochabamba.

Production of clothes of alpaca wool:
To build up a model business, that first will produce coats of alpaca wool (first through contact, later so that the demand of the market can grow the production of other clothes and accessories). This project is under developing and open for proposals for support.

It is worth mentioning that these projects not only provide opportunities for dignified work and stabilizes our target population, but they will also contribute to the self of the Foundation, so that the project can take place regularly.

If you have any questions please contact:

Furthermore, you can visit our page on Facebook where we publish actual information: Estrellas en la Calle at Facebook

Telefone numbers:

Office: 00591 - 44265943
Lic. Víctor Hugo Arellano (Director): 00591  79739237
Lic. Vibeke Tingvoll Øen (Vice President): 00591  74007123
Lic. Nicole Weiss (Coordinadora Programa Calle): 00591  79746424

Fundacion Estrellas en la calle
Casilla 1626
Cochabamba - Bolivien
Tel. 00591- 72720478 0 - 71486609