The Story of Chalalan

History of Chalalán

The indigenous community of San José de Uchupiamonas had to face its own development in the early 1990s, due to the difficult situation of poverty and the lack of attention of the central government in health, education, basic services and access, causing in The years?

80 the migration of 40 families of our community in search of better living conditions. This difficult situation made us think that we would never have help from the government, much less think about a credit, then we were forced to face our own development and for this we think of creating a project of its own, whose main objective is to improve the living conditions of Our population. At that time it was only a dream due to the lack of solvent guarantees for the banks.

So, since the 1990s, many of us began to question ourselves about: How do we avoid the disappearance of our community? How do we create job alternatives and improve the living conditions of our settlers? Looking at the inheritance so valuable that our ancestors left us: forests, animals, rivers and lakes, WE THINK IN ECOLOGICAL TOURISM.

The initiative was given and the task of saving our culture and territory was in the hands of a generation that fought hard. Our idea was to build traditional Tacana rustic cabins on the banks of the magical Laguna Chalalán.

Story of Chalalan

Thus we started Project CHALALÁN on February 28, 1992, without economic resources, but with faith and hope to forge a better future for our children.

Along the way, we met many Bolivian, Dutch, Norwegian and American friends who sympathized with our cause, including Oscar Sainz and Joseph Ginsgber, the last Israeli citizen, who thanked our community for their rescue in The Tuíchi Valley, who in his note of 12/23/92 said: "I will never forget and for my gratitude in this respect, I mean that I was born in Israel originally, but I feel that I was born again on the beaches of Progreso near San Jose and I feel Bolivian, Camba and it would be an honor to be a Josesano. "

In gratitude to this sentiment, he began to search for economic resources to give a greater impulse to the community project. In that effort, together with representatives of our community, he managed to contact the representatives of Conservation International (CI) and finally Of which contact was made with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The project was underway and the search for economic resources was also needed, but it was necessary to give more support. For that, a visit was made by the Vice President of International Conservation for Latin America, Mr. James D. Nations. San José de Uchupiamonas, expressed the following: "In all my professional life I have not found so much ethics of preservation.

So much respect and affection for life and kind and respectful people, until today I can not forget that moment".

Story of Chalalan

His visit was very positive for our community, because his feelings of solidarity made Conservation International Washington, give all his support in the adaptation of the project and make the necessary efforts before the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which ended fortunately with the signing Of the ATN / ME-4757-BO for the "Sustainable Development and Ecotourism Program in San José de Uchupiamonas" in 1995, and with it the establishment of an area of protection for the proposed Madidi National Park, with Resources of the Multilateral Investment Fund MIF.

If we had not taken prompt and accurate decisions, the disappearance of our community (culture and territory) would have been irreversible.


We spent 3 nights at Chalalan and have recommended it to everyone we have met since! We are budget travellers but decided to splash out on a stay here and did not regret it for a second. The location is idyllic - 5 hours by boat away from civilisation and right in the middle of stunning rainforest. The lake at the lodge is an added bonus - bathwater temperature and the most beautiful of locations. The sunset trip across the lake by canoe was a highlight of the stay - by far the best way to see the wildlife as it is completely untroubled by the silent canoe drifiting past.