Camba and Kolla: Migration and Development in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Camba and Kolla: Migration and Development in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Camba and Kolla: Migration and Development in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Camba and Kolla: Migration and Development in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Synopsis

"Includes a thorough historical overview of the changing Bolivian economic and political circumstances that have made the Santa Cruz region so attractive to migrants.... Well written"-Choice "This outstanding analysis of international migration is the kind of regional study carried out a generations of so ago by geographers. Now a brilliant anthropologist has... written a vivid account of the settlement of Santa Cruz (city and province) by highlanders and their interethnic relations with Lowlanders."-Latin America in Books
Stearman describes the changing interethnic relationships between the highland Kolla and the lowland Camba in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia's Amazon Basin, and between these indigenous Bolivians and the Asian and European immigrants brought to Bolivia to help establish the agricultural colonies.

Excerpt

them is nothing like a first experience in a foreign culture. Every sight and smell, every new face is met with the anticipation of yet another adventure. For many anthropologists, it is the promise of this novelty that piques their curiosity as trained observers. But there is also something to be said for returning to the familiar time after time. While perhaps not as exhilarating as the first encounter, going back to a place ever the years provides texture and depth to the craft of doing fieldwork. Going back to Lowland Bolivia is now like that for me. It is comforting to know that each time I return, enough will have remained the same to mitigate culture shock. Yet there are changes, new threads in the fabric, new folds and wrinkles. This is my novelty, the challenge that can come only from contrast—from knowing that what is now is somehow different from what was then.

I also take pleasure in contemplating the roles I have played in the lowlands for the past two decades. They were, of course, in no way planned; but these experiences afforded me insights into life in the oriente that could never have come from a single exposure or from only one vantage point. In 1964 I came to the Department of Santa Cruz as a Peace Corps volunteer assigned to work in colonization and community development. In this era, Bolivia, as well as other South American nations, was in the throes of attempting to develop its portion of the Amazon Basin. I lived and worked in a small peasant village, and over four years I watched it evolve from an isolated commu-

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