Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fieldtrip to the Bolivian lowlands

In this post I am going to upload photos and short comments about the ongoing fieldtrip to Beni, Bolivia, of the MSc students from the Institute of Geography at Bern University. The students arrived in Trinidad the 11th of August and will leave on the 21st.

Day 1 - 11th of August. Visit to the Museum Kenneth Lee in Trinidad.

Day 2. Excursion to the Mamoré river

Leaving the port
Describing and sampling a paleosol sequence outcropping along the Mamoré River bank

Day 3. Visiting the Indigenous community of Bermeo
Before playing football...

...and, with a BFC like outfit, Bermeo won :-)
Day 4 and 5.Community of Ibiato, on a paleo levee-backswamp of the Grande River
Excavating and analyzing a transect of 5 soil profiles along a paleo Grande River lavee-backswamp catena.
. Day 6. Meeting with indigenous leaders and visiting experimental raised fields
Doña Berta Vejarano Congo, leader of the indigenous march against the construction of the road across the TIPNIS indigenous territory and natural reserve, and Pedro Nuny Caity give a talk about the political situation of the indigenous people in the Bolivian Lowlands under the government of Evo Morales
Visiting experimental raised fields built by Oxfam GB in a suburb of Trinidad, now managed and subsidised by Trinidad City Council 
Day 7 - Sunday, day off at Laguna Suarez, one of  the many rectangular and oriented lakes found in the Bolivian Amazon.
Laguna Suarez, about 5 km from Trinidad

Day 8 - In the the morning visit to the Estancia La Chachra, where we learned about the extensive cattle ranching that is practiced in the Beni. We also went on a little safari.
Selecting the cows by size and checking if they are healthy

A little safari along the road inside La Chacra

One of the many alligators living in La Chacra, in the ponds that were excavated to take the material used to build the road 
In the afternoon we went to visit on of the biggest pre-Columbian monumental mounds: El Cerrito
Our guide invited us to have toronjas (a kind of sweet grape fruit) on the way back from the mound
Day 9 - Visiting the indigenous community of San Miguel del Matire and the CIPCA cacao project
Olver Vaca from CIPCA explains to us how the cacao project works

Visiting the facilities in San Ignacio the Moxos where the indigenous cacao is processed
Day 10 - Last day - We went fishing in the Mamoré
Fishing from the boat with "lineada y anzuelo"
The fish we caught
Preparing the fish at the restaurant "La choza del Pescador"
And ready to eat!!

This is the end of the 10 day field trip in the Beni - Bolivia. I hope you enjoyed it! See you in Bern!!