Afro-Bolivians. Term used to designate people of Bolivian nationality who are of African descent.


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  • 1 General data and demographics
  • 2 History
  • 3 Social organization
    • 1 Cultural
      • 1.1 Ideoms
      • 1.2 Music
      • 1.3 Religion and mythology
    • 2 Land and territory
    • 3 Health infrastructure
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Environment and nature resources
  • 6 See also
  • 7 Sources

General data and demographics

  • Total Population: 22,000 inhabitants
  • Ecoregion: Amazonian (subtropical)
  • Department: La Paz
  • Province: Nor Yungas and Sud Yungas
  • Municipality: Chulumani , Coroico , Coripata
  • Community: Chicaloma , Mururrata , Tocaña , Coripata , Dorado , Chico Chijchipa , Negrillani
  • Language family: Spanish
  • Main activity: Agriculture
  • Products: Coca , Yuca , Bananas , Citrus , rice .

Access Routes: Land

There is a trend towards population growth. Afro-Bolivians migrate to urban and semi-urban centers of the country in search of better living conditions, work, education, land and opportunities.


Afro-Bolivians were brought from Africa to work in subhuman conditions in the silver mines of Potosí , enduring the cold and the height of 4,200 meters above sea level, a situation to which they were not used. When mining declined, they migrated to the Yungas of La Paz. They reached the Yungas through 3 Inca trails: El Choro , Taquesi and Yunga Cruz .

In the Yungas they had to learn to cultivate the coca leaf. The landowners who own haciendas in the Yungueña area required the services of the now Afro-Bolivians for agricultural work, where they also exploited them as slaves.

In 1945 , President Gualberto Villarro promulgated Supreme Decree No. 319 , which declares the Pongueaje and Mitanaje services abolished . In 1952 , free labor and servitude were eliminated. On August 2, 1953, through Decree Law No. 3464 , “pongueaje” and “mitanaje” were abolished, which favored Afro-Bolivians because it freed them from slavery, they were also granted lands where they currently live and work.

In February 1992 , the First Assembly of Original Nations and People was held, in which various directorates of the Original and Indigenous organizations participated at the head of the CSUTCB and the CIDOB., it had the objective that the Original Nations and the People have an instrument of power and unity, which constitutes a valid interlocutor for the entire people, who recovers their territory and is the bearer of the ideological contents of: class, identity nation and culture, for the construction of a Multinational, Pluricultural, Plurilingual, Community Socialist, Democratic State with dignity, participatory, with mutual respect among native peoples, impoverished middle class, mestizo peoples and black people.

Social organization

The social organization of Afro-Bolivians , is based on the nuclear family, the family unit, shows very strong ties between its members, due to the segregation that exists by their color. This reflects their closed ethnic organization, within it they keep alive traits of their culture of origin.



The Afro-Bolivian indigenous people

The Afro-Bolivian indigenous people have a strong cultural root, based on their migrated ancestors from Africa , the suffering of their elders due to slavery in Potosí and their natural assimilation of the Aymara people .


The languages ​​and their dialectical variations, the music, the attitude and way of being of the Afro-Bolivian, is a special mixture of the black race, the Aymara and the Creole mestizo with its own personality.

The Afro-Bolivians speak Spanish and Aymara deformed in pronunciation and sometimes in semantics.

  • rice: Aró, aló
  • tambourine: pump
  • candle: candela
  • butler: caporal
  • I have: loi
  • you: oté
  • whip: suraigo
  • llores: yorís
  • mother: mai
  • father: pai
  • compadre: compai
  • hut, house: hut
  • What does it say: Insé?
  • black: prieto-preto
  • coca deposit: matuasi
  • you are: you are
  • give away: rigalar
  • be: istar


Afro-Bolivians make the Saya, a true musical cultural expression, where they express social concerns, joys, sorrows, criticisms with rhymed couplets to the Africanid rhythm of drums, the same ones that carry the mischief of the copleros who improvise stanzas of expression on the fly group and social. Music, as in most indigenous peoples, also accompanied harvests, work and commemorative dates of the communities.

Religion and mythology

Afro-Bolivians, in addition to having Christian influence, still retain elements of rituals of the macumba and the Vuh-duh ; especially in the towns of Chicaloma and Mururata , some traditions survive although with changed names and / or totally forgotten.

Land and territory

Regarding land tenure, few Afro-Bolivians have titles to their lands and the community properties they own belonged to their former employers. The lands with permanent crops represent the capital of the town.

It is important to note that a large part of the Afro-Bolivian population lives in cities such as La Paz and Santa Cruz.

Infrastructure in health

They have health posts and health personnel.


Afro-Bolivians have as their main economic activity slash-and-burn agriculture. They mainly cultivate coca , which constitutes the economic base of the home and which is the fundamental source of the community’s economy, they also grow coffee , citrus fruits , bananas , yucca , papaya and cereals for self-consumption.

Coca is planted when the earth is tired, coca lasts approximately 30 years. The coffee is Arabica poor performance, but resistant to impoverished soils and variable rainfall. Does not need seedling, It is sown directly inside the coffee plantation and when the plant is large, it is removed to transplant into large holes, three or four plants in each one, these activities are carried out between the months of January and March. After pruning the coffee trees, they use the land to plant bananas, yucca, papaya and other fruits. Commercialized products: coca, coffee, citrus fruits, bananas, yucca and papaya. Subsistence activities: agriculture, fruit growing, coffee and handicrafts, sale of labor, extraction of wood. Productive or Marketing Organizations: They have ACOPCA marketing organizations ; ADEPCOCA .

Environment and nature resources

Habitat: They inhabit the yungas pácenos, at a height above sea level , which varies between 800 and 200 meters, the ambient temperature is higher than 17 ° C, the annual fluvial precipitation is 2000 mm.

Environmental problems: The erosion of nutrients from the soils, due to the fact that the coca plant, the same one that absorbs them, the lack of fertilizers and fertilizers and the so-called chaqueo are environmental problems that seriously affect the environment of Afro-Bolivians.

See also


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