Exchange Program (AEP)
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the largest river basin in the world and the world's most biodiverse
terrestrial ecoregion, containing over half of the world's remaining
Bolivia: the country with
the sixth largest area of tropical forests in the world, which has
relatively intact primary forests, compared to neighboring countries;
however, deforestation rates are increasing dramatically. Bolivia
has the largest (over 66%) indigenous population in Latin America.
Kempff Mercado National Park (PNNKM): is
a UNESCO Natural
Heritage site in a subsistence-based region of the Amazon.
It is one of the largest and most intact parks in the Amazon
Basin and one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world.
Indigenous Territory of the Bajo Paraguá
In Bolivia, indigenous people hold land rights to their traditional lands in the form of indigenous territories (Territorio Comunitario de Origen (TCO)). AEP participants will be living in and visiting the Bajo Paraguá, a TCO formed by 6 communities. The communities (# of inhabitants) participating in the AEP are: Porvenir (121), Piso Firme (110), Florida (26), and Bella Vista (16). The Bajo Paraguá is lead by CIBAPA, the overall authority of the TCO, and each community is lead by a cabildo which is formed by a group of caciques (indigenous leaders). These communities are comprised of people from three indigenous groups: Guarasuwe (Paucerna), Guarayo (Guarani), and Chiquitano.