DECEMBER 29, 2017
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia—From October 27-29, 2017, nearly 17,000 people from 20 countries attended a convention hosted by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Impressed by the event, two Bolivian institutions awarded the Witnesses for the extensive improvements they made to the venue and for an exhibition they constructed displaying Bolivia’s diverse indigenous culture.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have hosted annual conventions at the Fundación para la Feria Internacional de Cochabamba (FEICOBOL) fairgrounds since 2012. The Witnesses typically clean the grounds in the days leading up to a convention. But to prepare the site for the thousands who would attend this year, some 4,900 Witnesses volunteered to refurbish the interior and exterior of the facility over the course of 15 days. Their work included painting, plumbing, and the installation of audio/video systems and networks. They also completed additional exterior work, which included gardening, and repairing benches and street lighting.
Local Witnesses also constructed a museum of indigenous Bolivian culture to educate the over 1,800 international delegates invited. The exhibit included displays of agricultural products and painted murals. The museum also featured three model houses in architectural styles unique to Bolivia, which the Witnesses donated to FEICOBOL.
Aldo Vacaflores, the president of the board of directors for FEICOBOL, who presented the Witnesses with the award recognizing their work, said, “We have been deeply impressed by the level of commitment of your church members.” He added: “You have [invested] much enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to make this [convention] worthy of admiration by all who come. We are going to use this as a model.”
Impressed with the Witnesses’ museum display, the Departmental Council of Cochabamba Culture, a government office for the state of Cochabamba, gave an award to the Witnesses. Sdenka Fuentes, the council president, personally thanked the Witnesses for choosing Cochabamba as the convention host city, citing the museum as a unique display of Bolivia’s diverse cultures.
Garth Goodman, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bolivia, states: “With six other cities tied in, this convention was a wonderful opportunity for a total of 49,320 people to worship together. We are glad that the community appreciated the respect we showed to our host country, Bolivia, and its unique indigenous cultures.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been providing Bible education in Bolivia since 1924. In the beginning of 2017, they achieved two milestones when they released translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures (“New Testament”) into Quechua and Aymara.
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000
Bolivia: Garth Goodman, +591-3-342-3442