Bolivian Express (BX) is an organisation founded in 2010, which aims to strengthen ties between Bolivia and the English-speaking world through immersive work experience programmes geared towards media production. Over the past two years, BX Magazine has become Bolivia’s foremost English-language publication, distributed in print for free across the country, and online for the rest of the world. Over 70 people from around the world have already taken part in Bolivian Express, and we’re currently on our 26th issue. We’ve won the attention of artists, sports stars, the the Bolivian Vice President and most recently the Ministry of Culture.
Meet the founders and core managers of the Bolivian Express
Amaru Villanueva Rance
General Director and Editor in Chief
Amaru grew up in Bolivia and did his undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University, then going on to complete an MSc in Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute. He returned to Bolivia in 2012 after spending eight ears in the UK and a year in Silicon Valley, where he worked in the areas of strategy and innovation for a tech company. He has written and done editorial work for academic journals, magazines, and newspapers in Bolivia (La Prensa, El Desacuerdo), Mexico (Ágora, Escenarios XXI), Belgium (DAMn°), and the UK (Financial Times, Port). He has collaborated as writer and researcher for Nick Ballon's multi-platform photographic project Ezekiel 36:36 (the book was published in London in August 2013). In 2013 he was invited to give a TEDx talk about Bolivian Express.
Jack is Bolivian Express's legal and technical director, loving everything others find dull. Jack comes from Galway, Ireland, and graduated law at Oxford. During his university years Jack spent time in Spain and got interested in journalism whilst editing an underground student newsletter alongside his college time friend Amaru. Following his graduation, Jack began professional work as a web developer and runs another startup, Oxbridge Notes, selling notes and essays for students.
Xenia is currently responsible for applications and marketing, and represents Bolivian Express in Europe from her base in London. Previously she has also been editor-in-chief of the publication. Xenia has a multi-cultural and multi-lingual background, having lived worked and studied across four continents, and graduated from an English Literature and Spanish degree in 2011. She In addition to co-founding Bolivian Express her principle passions and experience have been in the arts, writing, media and social enterprise, and she has published written work in the UK and abroad. In London she works on Think Big, an initiative by a major multi-national corporation to inspire digital savviness and entrepreneurialism in young Europeans. She likes trees, humour and documentary films, and misses Bolivia.
Ivan Rodriguez Petkovic was born in Serbia and moved to Bolivia aged 6, settling in La Paz. 10 years later he returned to his country of origin to undertake practical and technical studies in cinematography for a year and a half. Upon his return to Bolivia Ivan enrolled in the Bolivian Catholic University to study Social Communication. During these years he stood out for implementing urban communication initiatives alongside the city council. At the same time he researched the journalistic output and content of the country's most important newspapers at the National Media Observatory. He currently works for Express Press where he has done photography, journalism and sales for Metro, a monthly magazine devoted to music, entertainment and culture.
Sharoll was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia. Whilst at school Sharoll took up acting and poetry, involving herself with artists from an extensive range of ages, disciplines and social backgrounds. On turning seventeen, Sharoll made her first long trip through South America, traveling to Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. On her travels she was able to interact with other young performers and show them the variety of dances her country has to offer. Sharoll completed her trip by representing her country in the "Festival del Bambuco" in Huila, Colombia. Following her travels, Sharoll studied in the "Universidad Mayor de San Andres" from 2002-2004 (Business Management). After her studies, Sharoll moved to Japan where she worked for the "Andean-Amazonian Pavilion Aichi 2005". Two years later Sharoll traveled to Italy where she learned Italian whilst delving deeper into the fine arts. Presently, Sharoll is specializing in painting at the "Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes Hernando Siles" in Bolivia. All her experiences and discoveries about personal growth through cultural exchange have motivated her to be part of the Bolivian Express adventure.
Michael Dunn Caceres
Head of Photography and Design
Born and raised in Bolivia, Michael moved to New York at the age of 18 with the intention of going to business school. However once there, he found photography and graphic design to be his true passions. Besides being the lead graphic designer at the Bolivian Express, Michael is also the art director of Diafragma Magazine, a publication that promotes and supports aspiring and talented Bolivian artists countrywide.
He made his professional debut at the age of 25 in the prestigious “Cibrian-Mahler” company, performing the lead role of Jonathan Harker in “Dracula, the musical” doing a 1 year season and National Tour. After that he also performed a main role in the mayor production “Excalibur, a musical leyend”.
Currently, he works for two of the most important TV media outlets in Bolivia (RED UNO and ATB) to conduct a training programme to all the journalists and presenters in breathing techniques, diction and interpretation.
José Luis Palenque
Chief of Production BXTV
José Luis Palenque worked as Chief of Production and Operations at the Bolivian national network ATB and as General Producer of programmes. He currently works as Head of Production and Operations at the channel 11 in Red Uno Bolivia. He has extensive experience in the production of national television programmes and also received media training in foreign channels.
He has a degree in social communication and was invited to give classes in television production at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, the Universidad San Francisco de Asis, and the Universidad Católica. In 2013, he has taught the following courses: Specialization in Television Production, Techniques of Programme Production, TV and Video I, II, III, IV, Communication Processes, Scenography and Lighting of Television Sets, Market Research for Television Products, Television Production Workshops in Bolivia, Communications and the Labour Market, among others.
General Coordinator BXTV
23 years old, Rodrigo was born in Buenos Aires but has been living in La Paz since he’s two years old. He was granted a scholarship to study Management at the Universidad Catolica Boliviana. He was Corporative Sales Manager for Aerosur S.A. and Marketing Manager at the Stannum Boutique Hotel, both Bolivian companies. Currently, he was chosen to organize the events for TED.com in Bolivia and is the General Coordinator for Bolivian Express TV.