We visit a community in the Bolivian Amazon considered highly vulnerable. In the midst of the pandemic, the Yuquis, with only 360 people, are on alert. United for the same purpose — to survive, preserve their culture and identity — and at the same time, their health is seriously affected and their territory threatened by illegal actions such as deforestation.
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Entering the community of Bia Recuaté, where the Yuqui people live, you cross trails and narrow roads. It is where you begin to feel the humid smell of the Amazon rainforest. When you travel through several kilometers of nature, it is perceived that time does not exist. This same forest has witnessed the struggle for survival of the indigenous people of the Yuquis, who take care of it and have generated such a deep connection with the flora and fauna that surround them. Since the period of the first contacts in the 1960s, the inhabitants, in an attempt to preserve their identity, adopted in their names and surnames — in their Yuqui language — everything that is part of their ecosystem, such as flowers, fruits and the animals.
The Yuqui people live mainly in the Bia Recuaté community, in the Chapare province, known as the main region to produce the coca leaf in Bolivia. Coca, which according to official figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is mostly destined for illegal production, linked to drug trafficking.
Read the full story in Spanish on the Radio Temblor website.
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