Culture Snapshot: Bolivian Music

Carmen Escobar Headshot

Carmen Escobar, Sponsorship Manager

Oruro, Bolivia

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Save the Children has sponsorship programs in over twenty countries in five regions of the world! Sponsorship gives you the unique opportunity to connect with a child. By building a friendship with a sponsored child you have the opportunity to learn a variety of new things about the child and area that you help support. 

Time and again sponsors rave about how fascinating is to learn about other cultures! This short series highlights unique elements of local culture from each of the regions our sponsorship programs operate in. We hope you enjoy and will visit again in the coming weeks to learn about each region.


Rosario and Yveth are best friends and love to play music. The 13-year-old girls play a variety of Bolivian instruments such as the quena (bamboo flute), zampona (pan pipes), tarka (traditional flute of the Andes) as well as sheep hooves, used as castanets, and Spanish guitar. Rosario says, “Our identity is in our instruments. I think that Bolivian music should be valued by young people.”

Rosario playing the tarka
Rosario and Yveth started composing their own music and lyrics. Music has become a way to express their feelings. As Yveth puts it, “The melodies we create are ours and playing them can be described as something magical.”

Listen to a clip from a performance at Bolivian Heritage Festival:

Over the next few weeks we hope you will come back to read about cultural information from all of our sponsorship regions! Coming up next, a recipe for green chili chicken enchiladas from our Western Region office in the United States.


Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more

Rain Is Coming to Haiti: How Songs Can Help Save Babies’ Lives


Kathryn Bolles, Save the Children emergency health and nutrition director

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

February 16, 2010

The rainy season is approaching in Haiti, and we know that stagnant water and poor sanitation provide a fertile breeding ground for malaria and diarrhea, which are among the biggest killers of babies and young children.

The situation is made even more dangerous because in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January, clean water and hygiene supplies are in short supply.

Malaria and diarrhea are easily preventable and treatable. So it is crucial for people to have access to accurate information in their language so they have the tools to protect their children.

RSZDMomSave29 This information is especially important for mothers like Fiony (pictured at right, caring for her 3-month-old baby Rosemary) Photo Credit: Adriana Zehbrauskas / Polaris.

Music is a natural entry point. When people hear a song they like, they are likely to remember the tune and the message.

With this in mind, Save the Children is providing broadcast-quality Creole songs to radio stations in Haiti.

Few people have television or electricity, but they are accessing information by radio.

Songs that incorporate lifesaving heath and nutrition messages can take advantage of this fact, reaching more people and better saving the life of newborns and babies.

The songs created by this project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, will be aired on local radio stations and Creole services provided by international broadcasters.

Using the power of music, Save the Children is taking action today to save a baby’s life tomorrow.

To listen to the Creole songs and messages, please click here.

Learn more about our emergency response to the earthquake in Haiti.

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.

YOU CAN DONATE $10 TO THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND BY TEXTING “SAVE” to 20222 (US Only). Standard message rates  apply.