Chalalán Ecolodge belongs to the indigenous people of San Jose de Uchupiamonas. The Qhecua – Tacana roots of its people has filled their culture with rich ancestral traditions that have endured the test of time. Besides experiencing an intimate involvement with their lifestyle, flavors and festivities your stay will contribute to improve their living standards, maintain a strong cultural identity and support the conservation of the environment.

The Quechua Tacana indigenous people San José de Uchupiamonas, was founded in 1616 by Franciscan priests and Mr. Marcelino Cusirimay of Chiquitano origin in the valley of the Tuíchi River, current village. On the foundation of San José de Uchupiamonas, we have heard our parents and grandparents say that the first Mission was located on the site that we have known for a long time with the name of “Tullullani” (which means Place where there are Bones in Quechua) and that is an hour from the current town sailing by boat up the Tuíchi River.

A famous French writer by the name of Alcides D’Orbigny in his book “Geographical, Historical and Statistical Description of Bolivia”, said: “Their dwelling can not be more pleasant, since it seems that nature would have been pleased to spill its gifts in those wild places with a prodigious quality worthy of the land of promise.The foreigner who arrives in San Jose is amazed by the beauty of the vegetation and the variety of fruits that abound there. “

The indigenous people of San José de Uchupiamonas are located in the northwest of Bolivia, in the Department of La Paz, Abel Iturralde Province, within the Madidi National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area, 8 hours by boat from the town of Rurrenabaque.

History of San José of Uchupiamonas

The history of the indigenous Uchupiamonas is very difficult to characterize in view of the fact that the records do not differentiate the particular historical process of the community with the Tacanas stories in general. In this context, we recover what is stated in the text "Preliminary Ethnography", an internal document of Conservation International: The Tacana people are considered by the classical ethnography to be part of the nation of the "chunchos", name assigned by the Incas and then by the Spanish to all the ethnic groups that inhabited the geographical space located between the last spurs of the Andes, the oriental sheets and the Amazonian forests. Both the Inca and the Spanish considered the "chunchos" as part of nature and, therefore, wild. On the other hand, not very rigorous descriptions have this extensive intermediate area between the Andes and the Amazon as "Nobody's Land".

New Investigations

However, due to recent research contributions, it is thought that this important area constituted the "Taypi" or intermediate and mediation point between the high and low lands of the American peoples (ROMERO BEDREGAL, 1967, 1989, SAIGNES 1985). Thus, from the contributions of archeology and advances in ethnography, it is now possible to conclude that the peoples who inhabited these areas had developed societies organized in small groups, which met their basic needs through hunting, fishing, harvesting and cultivation of cassava (Portugal Ortiz, 1978). According to the Tacana oral tradition, there were rather peaceful relations with the Incas: (...) which proves the latest research showing an active commercial and social relationship in both directions. Thus, Spanish chroniclers such as Sarmiento de Gamboa and Garcilazo de la Vega, allow us to conclude that it was the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, whose dynasty lasted from 1471 to 1494, who led the first Inca incursions into Tacana territories and other Arawak groups such as the Mojeños . Later, the Inca Wayna Kápac would have strengthened the Inca domain that lasted until the arrival of the Spanish in 1540. (ROMERO BEDREGAL, 1989). An Inca aribalo found by a parish priest of Rurrenabaque and coming from Baba-Trau (No. 3141 MNA of the National Museum of Archeology) is undeniably Inca style; the same an ax of the same site (No. 862 MNA), metal (bronze with a preponderance of copper). In this regard Portugal (1978) says: His Inca style is undeniable, being an archaeological test that serves to authenticate what the chronicles and stories about the Inca penetration to the lowlands and tropical.