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Struggling with Sustainability: Guarayo Cultural and Environmental Management Challenges in Bolivia

Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Erb Memorial Union (EMU), Diamond Lake 119
1395 University Street, Eugene, OR 97403

At the confluence of Bolivia’s Amazon and Chiquitano Forests, the Guarayo town of Urubichá boasts an internationally renowned orchestra, children’s choir, and music school - all well-versed in the Baroque music practices that Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries introduced. Guarayos also have been praised for the work plans they have in place to sustainably harvest the lumber on their 1.5 million hectare territory. In this CLLAS Research Series event, UO Professors Wolf and Hindery recently visited the region to search for connections between these successes and Guarayo worldview. In this talk, they discuss how Guarayo efforts at cultural and environmental sustainability are being challenged by dwindling economic resources, extractive logging, colonization, and commercial farming. They consider how this situation relates to broader initiatives, such as decolonizing cultural and economic practices and seeking autonomy for Indigenous peoples in Bolivia.