Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Schools culture and perception:...
 Schooling on the Bolivian...
 Contrasting Hispanic and Aymara...
 Aymara bases of interaction and...
 The behavioral bases of Aymara...
 Aymara socialization
 The effects of cultural patterns...
 Biographical sketch

Title: The effects of cultural perception on Aymara schooling
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077399/00001
 Material Information
Title: The effects of cultural perception on Aymara schooling
Physical Description: xii, 294 leaves : ill. ; 28cm.
Language: English
Creator: Miracle, Andrew W., 1945-
Publication Date: 1976
Subject: Multicultural education   ( lcsh )
Aymara Indians -- Education   ( lcsh )
Anthropology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 287-293.
Statement of Responsibility: by Andrew W. Miracle, Jr.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077399
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000168802
oclc - 02887864
notis - AAT5202

Table of Contents
    Title Page
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    Table of Contents
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    Schools culture and perception: A theoretical orientation
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    Schooling on the Bolivian altiplano
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    Contrasting Hispanic and Aymara views of education
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    Aymara bases of interaction and social organization
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    The behavioral bases of Aymara perception
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    Aymara socialization
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    The effects of cultural patterns and perceptions of bicultural schooling
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    Biographical sketch
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Full Text







In memory of
Andrew W. Miracle (1916-1974)
my father and teacher


Many people have contributed their time and skills to the completion

of this study. I am thankful to all of them for their kindness and con-


My committee has shown great patience and understanding through the

years, especially my chairman, William E. Carter. As my advisor during

my career as a graduate student, he has taught me much. He has sharpened

my academic skills, especially in writing and editing. His advice on

writing proposals has been invaluable; in a real sense he made this study


Solon T. Kimball's counseling has been a great aid during the progress

of my academic career. He gave me an appreciation of the importance of

social groupings and interaction. His professional orientation has left

an indelible mark on my own career development.

My interest and research efforts in Aymara and in language studies

have been stimulated by the teaching of Martha J. Hardman-de-Bautista,

head of the University of Florida Aymara Project. In addition, it was her

initial insights in Aymara linguistic postulates which led to my interest

in Aymara cultural perception.

Elizabeth M. Eddy guided me through my first position as an anthro-

pologist in an interdisciplinary research project. In working with her I

gained a great deal of knowledge into the applications of anthropology in

education. Her concern and guidance through the years have been most ap-


Richard R. Renner first exposed me to the varied and complex world of

comparative education. Moreover, I shall always be grateful for the time

he took to counsel me on academic matters.

A special note of gratitude is owed the many people of Bolivia who

aided me in my efforts. Although I traveled through much of the area in

Bolivia and Peru where Aymara is the primary language, most of the data

presented in this dissertation were collected from four sites in Bolivia.

The communities of Qumpi/Llamacachi and Chukinapi furnished the majority

of the data, though the schools at Las Lomas, Ancoraimes, and Guaqui are

cited in several examples. Special thanks are due the people of Qumpi/

Llamacachi and Chukinapi who so kindly received me and cooperated with me

in this study.

While the communities and events cited in this study are real, and

have been described with faithfulness to detail, the names of the in-

dividuals and some organizations characterized here have been changed. In

addition, in a few cases, composites have been constructed in an effort to

secure the anonymity of an individual or to present more efficiently the

range of the collected data. Consistently, every effort has been made to

represent real people as accurately as possible.

While it is not possible to list everyone who helped me, some in-

dividuals deserve special recognition. Juan de Dios Yaptia, head of the

Institute de Lengua y Cultura Aymara, has been both friend and teacher for

many years. It should be noted that he developed the Aymara alphabet used

in this study. I have adhered to this alphabet for all Aymara words, ex-

cept for proper nouns which commonly are Hispanicized.

I wish to thank two other teachers from the Aymara Project who also

assisted me while I was in Bolivia, Juana Vasquez and Pedro Copana. Special

thanks go to the Apaza-Mamani family of Chukinapi who extended me many


I would like to thank Dra. Julia Elena Fortun and the staff of the

Direccion de Antropologia, and all of those associated with the Instituto

Nacional de Estudios Lingqisticos for their efforts on my behalf. In

addition, I would like to acknowledge the consideration that was shown me

generally by the many Bolivian officials with whom I came in contact. I

shall never forget those of the Ministerio de Inmigracion who cut red tape

at the time of a family emergency.

Special thanks go to the teachers, directors, and students of the

schools where I was allowed to observe, as well as to the normal school

teachers who granted me interviews. In general, I wish to thank the many

people of Bolivia who made our stay pleasant and our study profitable. If

any errors in fact or interpretation are noted by you who contributed so

directly, I ask that you inform me so that corrections can be made or

your contrasting views added.

I would also like to thank Lindsay Smith who initiated much of my in-

terest in education, and the Milton Robinson family and Ann Smith, of La

Paz, and Frank McGourn of the Instituto de Estudios Aymaras in Chucuito for

their hospitality and interest in my work.

This study could not have been completed without the assistance and

encouragement of my family, especially wy wife, Christine Satz Miracle.

Her patience, cooperation, and willingness to make great personal sacrifices

have been an immeasurable help. She has contributed directly toward the

completion of this study through her keen insights and analytic sug-

gestions, and by reading and commenting upon the various drafts of the

work. I thank my children, Rebekah Laurel and Jedidiah Andrew, for the

distractions they provided which helped me to keep all things in proper


Finally, I wish to thank the U.S. Department of Health, Education and

Welfare for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

Award (No. OEG-0-73-2955) which allowed me to conduct research in Bolivia

and Peru. The National Institute of Mental Health provided me with ad-

ditional support (fellowship No. 1 F01 MH58488-01) for field expenses

and a stipend while I wrote up the findings.

Acknowledgements . . . . .... iv

Abstract. . . . . ... . . x

Chapter I Schools, Culture, and Perception: A
Theoretical Orientation . . . . ... 1

Schooling in Las Lomas. . . . ... 1
Notes on Bolivian Rural Education . . . .. 12
The Concepts of Culture and Cultural Perception . .. 17

Chapter II Schooling on the Bolivian Altiplano. . . ... 28

Historical Perspectives . . . .... 28
Rural Public Schools Today. . . . ... 36
Other Educational Enterprises . . . .... 62
Private Schools and Foreign Involvement . .... 71
Summary . . . . ... ...... .82

Chapter III Contrasting Hispanic and Aymara Views of
Education. . . . . ... ........ 86

Hispanic Views of Education . . . .... 86
Aymara Views of Education . . . ... 98
Two Examples of Conflict. . . . . .. 109
Summary . . . . ... ...... 125

Chapter IV Aymara Bases of Interaction and Social
Organization. . . . . ... ...... 128

An Introduction to the Aymara Way of Life . ... 128
The Concept of Community. . . . . .. 144
Aymara Social Relations . . . .... 157
The Aymara Family . . . . 167
The Life Cycle and Rites of Passage . . .... 172
Summary . . . . ... ...... 181

Chapter V The Behavioral Bases of Aymara Perception . ... 184

Language as Behavior. . . . .... 184
Axes for Behavior . . . .... ..... 205
Summary . . . . ... ........ 230



Chapter VI Notes on Aymara Socialization. . . .233

Teaching and Learning . . . .... .234
Games and Play . . . . .. .249
Summary. . . . . . 260

Chapter VII The Effects of Cultural Patterns and
Perceptions on Bicultural Schooling . . . .263

Bibliography . . . . ... . 287

Biographical Sketch. . . . .. .. .294


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Andrew W. Miracle, Jr.

March, 1976

Chairman: William E. Carter
Major Department: Anthropology

An important part of what is learned and taught is how to define

and evaluate one's universe; this is the basis of cultural perception.

Cultural perception refers to the way individual members of every society

view the world and divide it into meaningful categories, and the way they

discriminate among the types of sensory experiences encountered. Cultural

perception affects cognition and behavior, for knowledge and experience

are of necessity assimilated through perceptual filters or screens that in-

clude the criteria for discrimination and evaluation. The perceptual

filters are in part, products of one's cultural heritage. Thus cultural

perception yields a common basis for understanding and interaction within

a society.

The concept of cultural perception is important for multicultural

situations, where professional educators and students may not share similar

frames of perception. Schooling in such a setting tends to reflect the

cultural perceptions of the dominant culture. Thus aspects of the school

program may be incongruent or in conflict with traditional culture pat-

terns of a large segment of the student population, rendering schooling

ineffective. The intended curricula and teachers' effectiveness may be

affected adversely. Similarly the student's academic potential may be


Although there are attempts at incorporating the schools into the

traditional structures of the Aymara community, nevertheless, these in-

stitutions remain largely Hispanic enclaves, reflecting Hispanic culture

and perceptions. Thus the schooling available in rural communities often

is incongruent with the cultural perception of the Aymara students. This

results in an ineffective overall school program, marked by nonattendence,

high attrition levels, low rate of scholastic success, and the continuation

of a high level of illiteracy, even among those who have attended school.

Aymara norms of behavior, traditional sentiments, and the modes of

perceiving and analyzing the environment are taught primarily outside of

school through childrearing practices and events, myths, games and language.

The result is interlocking cultural patterns which produce a net effect

equivalent to a shared cultural perception.

Utilizing verbal and nonverbal data, the arrangements in one Aymara

semantic domain are related to arrangements in other semantic domains.

Four Aymara domains which differ from Western or Hispanic perception

are delineated and their interrelationships described in an effort to

provide a basis for understanding Aymara cultural perception. These

are labeled: (1) social identification, (2) social ethic, (3) spatial

domain, and (4) the bases of knowledge.

These and other shared elements form the cognitive filters affecting

Aymara cultural perception. Analysis of these premises of cultural

perception along with the associated culture patterns provides some under-

standing of Aymara social processes. The data suggest a set of three sub-

systems that define and support the roles of the individual, the family,

and the community. This system of individual/family/community and the

concomitant social values form the basis of the reciprocal system which

in turn promotes equilibrium and cohesion within the community.

Such analysis provides insight into the kinds of cognitive categories

which may interfere with the Aymara student's academic success in school.

Specific examples of such interference are described.



*% -

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Schooling in Las Lomas

The community of Las Lomas, though only about 10 km. from the city

of La Paz, is accessible only by foot. There are about 70 families in

Las Lomas, and typically each one maintains small plots of land, a

few chickens, pigs or even a cow. Situated on the side of a canyon wall,

there is not much arable land available. Though it is possible to walk

into the city to seek work, jobs are hard to obtain. Some of the men

of Las Lomas work as day laborers, other men and women try to sell

surplus produce or artisan products in order to sustain their existence.

The school in Las Lomas is housed in one of the downstairs rooms

of a relatively new two-story adobe house. The owner of the house, a

community leader, no longer lives in the house, and allows the school

to be housed in the room. The school is brand new, having started in

the middle of the current school year. Previously, children had to

walk either into the outskirts of La Paz, or further down the canyon

wall in the opposite direction about 30 minutes, in order to attend the

rural school in a neighboring community. The trail to this nearby

community was described as dangerous by some parents in Las Lomas.

For whatever reasons, few children from the community attended any

school before the new school was established in Las Lomas itself. The

school was not an official government-sponsored public school, but was

privately financed by a group of upper-middle class Hispanic Bolivians

in cooperation with the community. The group provided supplies and

materials and most of the teacher's salary. The community was supposed

to furnish the classroom, a small supplement toward the teacher's salary,

and the teacher's room and board if he chose to live in the community.

Simon Jamach'i the only teacher at Las Lomas, was a young Aymara -

speaker from the Department of Oruro. A capable and dedicated teacher,

he taught half-day classes at Las Lomas and attended university and

normal school classes in the afternoons. He lived in the city and

commuted an hour and a half each way in order to teach at Las Lomas

five days a week.

The group sponsoring the school intended that it should be "ex-

perimental" in nature, employing new methods and materials in an effort

to teach the children of the community literacy and basic mathematical

skills, as well as trying to prepare them sufficiently in the official

government curricula so that they might continue their schooling else-

where after primary schooling in Las Lomas. The teacher was required

to meet with the sponsoring group twice monthly and additionally once

each week with a group member who was a normal school professor. A

variety of new pedagogical theories and methods were discussed or

demonstrated at these sessions and occasionally materials prepared by

members of the group were presented and discussed.

Senor Jamach'i was willing to try these new approaches, but aside

from being the best supplied classroom I saw in rural Bolivia, the class

differed little from others I observed. A typical school day at Las

Lomas is represented in the description that follows.

Walking up to Las Lomas I was struck by the rural nature of this

area which lies so close to the city. There are cultivated fields

everywhere. It would appear that no arable land has been overlooked.

There are burros, sheep, goats and cows. Other indicators also marked

this rural area as different from the sprawling city below. For

example, once one crosses the gully marking the end of the road leading

up from the city, people begin to greet each other by saying winustiyas

("Buenos dias") to one another. While young people almost never greeted

me, older men did, and almost everyone from the area greets each other.

I also observed a woman weaving a manta, a cloth used in carrying

produce and other articles, on a small stake loom. Two other women

were seen knitting ch'ullus or knitted caps inside their house, sitting

on the floor just inside the doorway.

School is supposed to start at 8:30 a.m. I arrived about 8:45 and

school had not yet begun. One little boy was sitting in the doorway

of the school. He appeared to be about five years old. I tried to talk

with him and was surprised to discover that he spoke very little Spanish.

Later I learned that his name is Rene, and that he is shy and nonverbal

in class.

The teacher arrived at 8:55 and unlocked the door. Rene went in

the school and then came out with a bell. The bell was missing the

clapper so he picked up a rock and began to strike it. Children started

appearing almost immediately. I saw two young girls winding their way

down the mountain. Another girl came up from a field below where she

had been tending sheep. Others exited from their houses or yards and

hurried toward the school.

At 9:05 the teacher announced that they would begin without

waiting for the other students. Only six children were present, three

boys and three girls. The teacher told a boy and a girl to draw on

the two-sided easel he had set up near the door. He told the others

to play with toys. He then began the process of individualized in-

struction. One by one all the children came to where he was seated on

one of the benches facing the door and presented their notebooks. Senor

Jamach'i would then turn through a notebook asking the student to read

words and sentences written in it. Except for little Rene, all did fairly

well at this "reading".

Latecomers continued to arrive. By 9:15 there were 15 students

present, six boys and nine girls. While the teacher continued to work

with the students individually, the other students were all keeping

busy. The three oldest girls, 12 or 13 years old, were reading and

looking at the pictures in a textbook on natural science. Two boys were

looking over their shoulders. It later became apparent that one of the

girls in this group was indeed the best reader in the class. As the

others took turns reading a few words from the pages, this girl would

assist by correcting mistakes and supplying unknown words.

A friendly six-year-old, Marcos, wanted to show me how well he could

"read". Watching Marcos "read" I began to sense how almost everyone was

"reading", except perhaps for the three older girls. The sentences in

the notebooks tended to follow a pattern, for example: "El conejo. El

conejo come zanhorias". or "La naranja" La naranja es rica". Below

the sentences which were written on the top half of the page, a picture

depicting the subject (and perhaps any action too) had been drawn on

the bottom half of the page. The children had all memorized the lines

that accompanied each picture. If the pattern changed or the picture

was not obviously indicative (to the student) of the subject matter, they

were in trouble. Then they would stutter or make guesses at the line they

were supposed to read. Sometimes Senor Jamach'i would give them a little

assistance, or perhaps one of the kibitzing older girls would try to

assist the student having difficulty. If another student tried to help,

then Senor Jamach'i would reprimand the student, saying, "It's not your

turn to read." Once the struggling "reader" had the necessary clue,

he or she could then rattle off the written and memorized line.

These children had learned that written words can be symbolic, and

that there is a key to understanding their meaning. However, these

children had not learned to read, that is to sound out the phonemes

and associate a meaning with the sound. Rather they had learned that

written words most often occur in patterns and that one must seek out

other clues, usually pictoral, in order to determine the meaning of the

written words.

After the teacher had finished assessing the work of a student

he would ask, "Who is next?" Sometimes several students would push

close to try to shove their notebooks close to his face. Senor Jamach'i

would select one notebook and usually the other students would go do

something else until the teacher finished working with their classmate.

The time the teacher spent with each student varied from about two to

four minutes. Some read a few sentences, others read several sentences.

The length of time spent with each student seemed to be a function of how

well the student read. The better "readers" did more pages in a shorter

time than the poorer "readers". Therewere only one or two short, related

sentences per page in all the notebooks.

At 9:40,having spent a couple of minutes with every student in-

dividually, the teacher barked sharply, "Atencion. Atencion." All of

the students became quiet and sat still on the benches. There was one

bench along the south wall, and one along the west wall. The two oldest

girls and the boys sat on one bench; the rest of the girls sat on the

other bench. Senor Jamach'i then placed a wooden box in the middle of

the room to be used as a table, and announced that the class would use

the natural science book as the basis for discussion and story-telling.

First he called on Marcos to come up to the book lying on the box and

to select a picture in the book and then to tell the class a story which

referred to the subjects in the picture. Marcos named the animals in

the picture and fictionalized about the family of birds.

Little Rene was called up next. He made no effort at first to

approach the book, but finally did so after the teacher and other students

urged him. Rene took a long time to select a picture and then stood

silently. Even after the teacher prodded him to begin Rene remained

silent. Finally, the teacher started asking questions, to which Rene

would respond either in simple one word answers or by nodding his head.

The girl called up next went through her story rapidly, mostly being

spurred on by the questions of Senor Jamach'i.

The last student called forward was the girl who was the best reader

in the class. This girl's story was about family life. The teacher

interrupted at one point asking, "Donde cocina tu mama?" The girl

responded, "Mi mama cocina en ." (there was a pause) q"iri (an

Aymara word for a type of brick oven). Senor Jamach'i smiled and added,

"o en la cocina o el horno." He did not embarrass the girl for her use

of Aymara, nor directly try to correct her; he merely suggested alternatives.

It was a little after 10:00 when Senor Jamach'i introduced a dif-

ferent activity. He went to the small magnetic chalk board hanging

on the wall. He placed the consecutive letters from L1 to Rr on

the board. He had to write the Spanish letter "Nn" since this American

made product did not have those plastic letters in the kit. Senor

Jamach'i selected students without regard to their seating order to

read the letters as he pointed to them. He always pointed to the letters

in order, that is beginning with "Ll" and moving to the right to "Rr".

The other students remained quiet while the designated student recited.

If a student had trouble with the letters, as many of the younger ones

did, the other students would then help out by saying the name of the

letter which the designated student would then repeat. The teacher did

not object to this assistance. He did, however, quiet any of the others

who might start talking among themselves about other things.

After everyone had a turn, the teacher started a new "game". This

was a physical exercise activity analogous to "Simon Says". Individuals,

and later the whole group, were marching around the room raising their

arms on command or following other instructions. The class enjoyed these

exercises immensely.

Just as the teacher announced that everyone should sit down and get

quiet, one little boy came up to Senor Jamach'i and told him that he

needed to urinate. The teacher said it was all right. Others then

indicated their need to relieve themselves also. So Senor Jamach'i

declared a break and all the students, boys and girls, went outside and

urinated in the street in front of the school room. Without being called,

all of the students were back in the classroom within a few minutes.

The next activity, mathematics, began about 11:00. The teacher

held a math book for all to see while asking students to come up one at

a time and answer his questions. The questions were always the same

for this lesson, to count the figures in a group and then read the

corresponding numeral.

During the class other children from the community occasionally

were observed outside the school room. For example, one boy about nine

years old was rolling a hoop with a stick in the road in front of the

school. For a while he played so that he could look in the school door

in order to see and hear what was transpiring inside. There was only

one boy in the 8 10 age category attending school. The other boys

were all younger.

Following mathematics, Senor Jamach'i announced that it was time

for drawing. He then passed out sheets of paper, which already had been

used on one side, to the students. The students drew with their pencils,

a crayon, or piece of chalk obtained from a box placed in the middle of

the room for all to use. For support beneath the paper the students

used large pieces of cardboard, kept neatly stacked in a box near the

corner. This was necessary because there were no desktops or anything

else flat and smooth to use. Buses seemed to be the most popular subject

to draw.

Senor Jamach'i collected all of the drawings which were identified

by the students' names at the top of the pages. The cardboards were

then returned to the box. Senor Jamach'i had the students sit on the

benches while he seated himself on the wooden box in the middle of the

room. He tried to stimulate a class discussion by asking, "Qu6 es la

familiar He apparently was looking for a particular response which

was not forthcoming. He then began asking particular students specific

questions such as: What does your father do? What does your mother do?

How many brothers and sisters do you have? A few of the students did

not seem to understand the questions for they did not answer the questions

directed at them. When a student equivocated or did not respond, another

student usually would answer the question for the first student. Every-

one seemed to know all about everyone else's family situation. One or

two students were chided by their peers for misrepresenting what was

felt to be the truth about their families.

After everyone had told about his or her family, the teacher had them

get ready to draw again. The cardboards were redistributed and Senor

Jamach'i passed out more sheets of paper to the students. The students

were instructed to draw a picture of their families. Some drew only a

mother and father; others added a brother or sister. No one included

himself or herself in the pictures. Most pictures had two to four

figures in them. Many pictures included a house. The women in the

pictures were distinguishable by the braids which stuck out on either

side of their heads.

The drawing materials were put away again and Senor Jamach'i an-

nounced the next activity, singing and dancing. He suggested and

started the first song, but after that the students began all the songs.

Senor Jamach'i sang with the students except for two songs for which he

apparently did not know all the lyrics. Several of the songs had

accompanying hand motions. After the first few songs some of the students

began to dance at the teacher's suggestion. There were several different

types of dances performed, with the singing of the other students as the

only music. There were girls dancing with girls, as well as girls dancing

with boys. Not all of the students participated in the dancing.

At noon the teacher stood, marking an end to the dancing. He told

two girls to sweep the floor of the classroom. They did this with hand

brooms of gathered straw. Everyone else went outside where Senor Jamach'i

gave each student an individual homework assignment. Today the assignment

was to copy letters, words, or sentences in their notebooks. On other

days the assignments had included math problems and picture drawing.

The teacher turned through each student's notebook, glancing at the

last assignment and indicating the new one by writing at the top of the

next page the letter or words to be copied in columns underneath. Some-

times he asked the student a question or two about the last assignment

before indicating the new one. Senor Jamach'i asked one girl who had

been helping her with her lettering. "My brother," she answered. With-

out being negative, the teacher showed her how he preferred it, with

the capital letters two lines high and the lower case letters only one

line high.

As each student received his or her new assignment, the students

excused themselves and left. One or two waited around for a friend or

a sibling before leaving. By 12:25 p.m. all of the students were gone

except for a young boy who always walks part way down the mountain with

the teacher. This student lives about 15 minutes down the trail and

always accompanies the teacher up in the mornings and back down after

school is out.

The second scene I will describe occurred at the same school a few

weeks after the school day described above. On this day an outsider,

a professor from the Instituto Nacional de Estudios Linguisticos (I.N.E.L.)

and the Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara (I.L.C.A.) came to Las

Lomas to give a brief lecture and to distribute materials prepared for

teaching Aymara speakers to read and write Aymara. What follows is

a description of the class during this one hour-long session.

The professor arrived about 11:00 a.m. In addition to the teacher,

six boys and seven girls were present. Three boys not enrolled in

school saw the professor arrive and came to the door of the classroom to

investigate; they were coaxed inside by the professor. Later, other

children came and stood at the door. Perhaps half a dozen stood outside

the door but within listening range; they could not be coaxed to come


When the professor entered the classroom the students all rushed up

and shook hands with him. He was then introduced by the teacher. After

greeting the class the professor began to read a few brief essays and

poems in Aymara. He gave everyone present a copy of the literacy pamphlets

he had brought with him. He had the students repeat the syllables and

words from the printed pages as he read them. Senor Jamach'i also fol-

lowed along in his copy of the pamphlet and repeated with the students.

The teacher stopped the professor a couple of times to explain a word to

the students or to ask the students to give the Spanish equivalent of the

Aymara word.

The students were excited and could scarcely contain themselves.

There was no difficulty getting them to participate. However, they

continued to use Spanish in asking the professor questions about the

Aymara. Some of the older students, including one boy that I had never

observed reading in class before, caught on quickly and often got

ahead of the professor in the reading and repeating of the words on a

particular page.

After this had gone on for some time, the professor switched to another

activity. He went to the chalkboard and asked the class to volunteer

the names of animals that they knew in Aymara. As the students called

out the names of animals the professor would write them on the chalk-

board using a phonemic alphabet. He rejected such animals as bear and

tiger, asking if the student had seen these animals walking about Las


Six-year-old Marcos got a blue chalk and began writing over the

words the professor had written on the board with a white chalk. Later

the professor noted privately that this boy did not speak Aymara well,

but that he had been willing to try during the exercises. The boy

confided that while his parents speak Aymara his mother does not like


The professor finished about 12:00 noon. Before he left though,

Sehor Jamach'i had the students perform some songs.

Notes on Bolivian Rural Education

Brief narrative descriptions, such as those presented above, may

be interesting, even insightful, yet without analysis they remain an

inadequate means of fully understanding the situation. The difficulty

lies in developing a means of analysis. The problem in this case is to

assess the apparent ineffectiveness of the current educational endeavors

in rural Bolivia which supposedly strive to incorporate Aymara speakers

into the national mainstream principally by making them literate in

Spanish. Originally I thought that the problem of Aymara education

might be attributable in large part to language. However, the problem

is not one of just linguistic and paralinguistic behavior but one which

covers the full range of social behavior; it is a problem of total


It became apparent to me that there were patterns of school be-

havior which were more or less congruent with nonschooll behavior. My

problem was to move out of this realm of subjectivity through the presenta-

tion of description and analysis. My first task was how to approach

the data in a theoretically valid manner and with a methodological

orientation that was compatible with those theoretical principles. In

short, this is an attempt to trace the theoretical and methodological

assumptions which have guided my analysis and shaped my conclusions.

First, though, I will return briefly to a description of schooling, this

time in an effort to describe the system and define its ineffectiveness.

Since the inception of schools for the Aymara in the rural areas of

Bolivia, the official policy has been castellanizacion, that is to teach

Spanish and Spanish literacy to all school children. In order to accomplish

castellanizacion all instruction is supposedto be given in Spanish from

the first day of the first grade, even if all the students in the class

are monolingual in Aymara. This official policy varies in the degree

of its actual implementation. Teachers of Hispanic background, of

course, use only Spanish in the classroom since they do not speak

Aymara. Aymara-speaking teachers may use some Aymara, especially to

inform the younger students what is expected of them, in occasional

translations of class materials, or to elucidate a particular point,

Most Aymara-speaking teachers, however, do not use much Aymara at

school, especially if Hispanic teachers or authorities are present.

The number of schools and teachers serving Aymara areas has increased

steadily in the last 30 years. However, the continued high rate of

illiteracy and high academic failure seemingly suggest that the over-

all program has been ineffective in meeting its avowed goals. While

illiteracy for individuals 15 years or older stands at approximately

60 percent nationally in Bolivia, it is much higher in rural than in

urban areas. In rural areas 85 percent of the population are illiterate;

in urban areas, only 17 percent. About 70 percent of the total population

of Bolivia are rural (Gelinas 1974). Of those who enter rural schools

only 8 percent finish the 4th grade, and only 2 percent finish the 6th

grade, thereby completing primary school (Gelinas 1974:22).

While the ineffectiveness of rural schools in meeting their avowed

goals is widely acknowledged and may be measured in terms of continued

illiteracy and the lack of academic success by Aymara students, determining

the cause or causes for this ineffectiveness is not easy. The rural Aymara

would appear generally to share both a desire and a need for learning

Spanish and becoming literate in Spanish, even if their need and desire

for the formal curriculum are not as strongly demonstrable. Almost every

social scientist who has written about the Aymara since the revolution

of 1952 and the subsequent agrarian reform has cited the desire of the

Aymara for "education" and the advantages of Spanish literacy at both

the individual and the community level. (For examples see Carter 1971

and Comitas 1967). However, motivation alone, even when it is strongly

reinforced by economic advantages, apparently has not been sufficient

to insure the effectiveness of the school program in Aymara areas.

The Ministry of Education and other government, church and assistance

agencies cannot be faulted simplistically for a total lack of effort.

The commitment of these institutions has been significant. One of the

results has been a proliferation of school facilities since the revolution

and the establishment of normal schools for rural teachers.

The situation is perplexing. If there exists motivation to learn

what the teachers in the schools are trying to teach, how can the rate

of success, here measured in terms of literacy and the completion of

successive grade levels, remain so low? This low level of success can

be easily illustrated. It is estimated that only 44 percent of all

rural children of school age enroll in school; of these only 8 percent

finish the fourth grade (Gelinas 1974:22-23).

If completion of the fourth grade can be used as an approximate

definition of "literate", then less than 4 percent of rural children

in Bolivia aged 6 14 are achieving literacy through the regular

school system. Since the level of adult literacy in rural areas of

Bolivia is about 15 percent it must be inferred that many rural Bolivians

achieve literacy not as school aged children attending elementary

schools, but rather as adults through "adult education" or alfabetizacion

programs:of one kind or another. However, the sum of all the schooling

efforts, for both children and adults, remains largely ineffective as

only about 15 percent of the rural population is literate.1

It might be suggested that the figures do not accurately reflect the full
success of schooling efforts. For example, it might be assumed that those
rural peoples who become literate would be more inclined to migrate to urban
areas, thus adding to the higher percentage of urban literates over rural
literates. Unless there is a corresponding migration of approximately equal
size of urban illiterates to the rural areas this argument lacks support.
The ratio of urban:rural inhabitants in Bolivia has increased only slightly
in the past 20 25 years and it is not predicted to change rapidly in the
future. Using data from the Ministerio de Planificacio6 y Coordinacion and
Consejo Nacional de Economia y Planificacian, Gelinas (1974:47) notes that
74.6 percent of the national population could be classified as rural in 1950
and 70.7 percent were rural in 1970.

The problem then remains unchanged: how to explain the apparent

failure of literacy efforts in rural Bolivia, and specifically in

Aymara-speaking areas. I attempted to apply an anthropological approach

to the problem in an effort to identify those factors other than the

purely economic (e.g., school attendance is expensive and a drain on

family resources especially since children are needed to tend the animals);

socio-political (e.g., the school system is designed to continue the

traditional class structures with the non-Amerind Bolivians remaining in

superordinate positions); or pedagogical (e.g., there are not enough

schools and those that exist are ill-equipped and understaffed by in-

adequately trained personnel).

Eventually, it becomes apparent, however, that the types of explanations

suggested above were insufficient to explain adequately the ineffectiveness

of rural schools. For many of the economic, socio-political, and pedagogical

explanations for this scholastic ineffectiveness there appeared to be

equally compelling counter arguments. Gradually I came to believe that

the ineffectiveness of the rural schools was not due to a single social

or material problem, nor to the sum of a multitude of such problems.

Rather the difficulty of Aymara students to succeed in the schools seemed

to be deeply rooted in a set of cultural patterns of which apparent

economic and social conflicts were merely outward manifestations. These

observable facets of the problem are not causal, nor even components

of the cause of scholastic problems for Aymara students. Rather these

are manifestations of that essence of being Aymara which makes it ex-

tremely difficult, if not impossible, for all but a few rural Aymara

individuals in Bolivia to succeed in the school system as it operates

today. That is, the basis of the student's inability to succeed lies

in the way that the world is perceived through the filters of Aymara culture.

The Concepts of Culture and Cultural Perception

The concept of culture is crucial in determining the form and

direction of any anthropological study. Culture has been notoriously

difficult to define, and many anthropologists have ignored the problem

of definition by assuming that the meaning of the term was generally

understood. For example, even though L. H. Morgan's purpose in Ancient

Society was to discuss culture change, nowhere in the book does he

attempt to define culture. Many of Morgan's successors, however, have

made that attempt; so many in fact that Kroeber and Kluckhohn reviewed

hundreds of definitions in an effort to formulate a definition that could

be accepted as valid by a majority of social scientists. They concluded

by defining culture in terms of patterns.

Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit,
of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by
symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement
of human groups, including their embodiments in
artifacts; the essential core of culture consists
of traditional (i.e., historically derived and
selected) ideas and especially their attached
values; culture systems may, on the one hand,
be considered as products of action, on the other
as conditioning elements of further action. (1952:181)

It is not my purpose to repeat the work of Kroeber and Kluckhohn,

nor to bring it up to date by supplementing their list of definitions

with those offered since their work was published in 1952. However, I

would like to present just a few definitions which have been published

during this past century. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate

certain agreements or similarities among the concepts of culture

sketched by various scholars.

Tylor's definition was one of the first and formed the basis for

much subsequent thought about the concept of culture.

Culture or Civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic
sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge,
belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other
capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member
of society. (1883:I:1)

I would suggest that the major contributions of this definition

are its holistic approach, as stressed by the words "complex whole",

and the suggestion that culture is "acquired" or learned. The idea

that culture is learned behavior became an almost essential element

in the subsequent development of the semantics of culture.

Radcliffe-Brown talked of culture as "the process by which a

person acquires from contact with others or from such things as

books or works of art, knowledge, skill ideas, beliefs, tastes,

sentiments" (1952:4-5). For Radcliffe-Brown, culture is the process

by which one learns; and social interaction is the basis of this process.

Goodenough, like Tylor, Kroeber and Kluckhohn, and Radcliffe -

Brown, stresses that culture is learned.

As I see it, a society's culture consists of what-
ever it is one has to know or believe in order to
operate in a manner acceptable to its members, and
to do so in any role that they accept for themselves.
Culture, being what people have to learn as distinct
from their biological heritage, must consist of the
end product of learning: knowledge, in a most
general, if relative, sense of the term. By this
definition, we should note that culture is not a
material phenomenon; it does not consist of things,
people, behavior, or emotions. It is rather an
organization of these things. It is the forms of
things that people have in mind, their models for
perceiving, relating, and otherwise interpreting

them. As such the things people say and do, their
social arrangements and events, are products or
by-products of their culture as they apply it to
the task of perceiving and dealing with their
circumstances. To one who knows their culture,
these things and events are also signs signifying
the cultural forms or models of which they are
representations (1964:36)

In summary, it can be suggested that the similarities among the

cited definitions are more striking than the differences. All of the

cited concepts of culture view it holistically, as involving learning.

Differences arise in the nature of culture more than in its descriptive

attributes. Culture is patterns of behavior for Kroeber and Kluckhohn.

Culture is process for Radcliffe-Brown. And, as described by Goodenough,

culture is models for perceiving.

Whether or not they have defined it, anthropologists' writings

reflect a particular concept of culture, and this concept, to a large

extent, determines the direction of one's professional work. A survey

of modern anthropology reveals at least three basic approaches to

anthropology, three concepts of culture: process-pattern, structural-

functional, and structural-cognitive. I will discuss each of these

briefly, using Kroeber, Radcliffe-Brown and Goodenough as representatives

of these three differing concepts of culture.

As an advocate of the process-pattern school of thought, Kroeber

viewed culture as the product of an historical process. In any given

society at any given time there exists an historical configuration of

patterns which may be called culture. The goal of the researcher is to

describe these culture patterns. Within any cultural context, Kroeber

hypothesized that one could distinguish simple and complex patterns, as

well as basic and secondary patterns.

As a structural-functionalist, Radcliffe-Brown posited that each

structural system is a functional unity in which every component part

contributes to the maintenance and continuation of the system. Thus

the task of the reseacher is to study all kinds of social phenomena in

both direct and indirect relation to social structure, which is an

abstraction of structural forms from the actually existing observable


Social relations are only observed, and can only
be described, by reference to the reciprocal
behavior of the persons related. The form of
a social structure has therefore to be described
by the patterns of behaviour to which individuals
and groups conform in their dealings with one
another (1952:198)

Goodenough has been a leader in the so-called new ethnography and

as such is a representative of the third type of theoretical orientation

I have listed, structural-cognitive. For Goodenough, culture consists

of the concepts and models which are contained in the mind and which

organize and interpret behavior. The new ethnography research has two

goals. The short-range goal is culture-specific description.

Ethnographic description, then requires methods
of processing observed phenomena such that we can
inductively construct a theory of how our informants
have organized the same phenomena. It is the theory,
not the phenomena alone, which ethnographic description
aims to present (1964:36)

Kay has outlined the long-range goal of the new ethnography, that is

the development of a general theory of culture.

To summarize the second point of relationship
between ethnography and cultural theory: A
general theory of culture must deal with formal,
not substantive, cultural universals. Formal
cultural universals are to be found in the logical
structures of the meta-language created by anthro-
pologists to express their ethnographic descriptions.

As we gain understanding of the language we use
to talk about cultures, we learn about Culture

One of the major theoretical problems facing the contemporary

anthropologist is how to answer the question "What is culture?" and

thereby resolve the concomitant problem of how a student of culture

ought to organize his or her research. One is tempted to agree with the

conclusion Singer reached after his review of the concept of culture.

"It is going to take more than one kind of theoretical model to do justice

to the variety, complexity, and richness of human culture" (1968:541).

Such a position, however, seems largely to side-step the dilemma.

In the summaries of the three schools of culture theory discussed

above, I have also mentioned the methodological approach that generally

accompanies each position, or is perhaps even inherent in the statement

of the concept itself. Now I would like to suggest that in all like-

lihood it is one's methodological bent which determines the formation

of one's concept of culture rather than the other way around. Thus the

essential difference between the three schools is what one looks at and

why one looks at it.

An adherent to the process-pattern school is one who examines the

patterns of behavioral and material traits associated with a particular

group of people. One looks at patterns because they tend to be obvious

and obviously different for different groups of people, and because the

patterns appear to be logical results of the historical processes which

produced them.

A structural-functionalist is one who chooses to focus analytic

efforts on an understanding of the functional unity. Usually this means

analyzing behavior. This is done because behavioral patterns are deemed

the most important and those that most accurately reflect the reality

of the moment. The orderliness of structure and the inherent logic of

function allow one to go beyond description to suggest explanations.

The new ethnographers, the cognitive anthropologists, believe that

thelinguistic model provides a key for getting at the roots of culture

and analyzing it more scientifically. It is feltthatasasymbolic system,

culture is predictive of normative behavior. Procedures can be operation-

alized for determining the structures inherent in the cognitive process

of individual members of a society. Thus one can master a culture and

learn how to predict behavior within the normative limits of that culture.

Rather than agree with Singer's statement on the concept of culture,

I would prefer to paraphrase it: It is going to take more than one kind

of methodological approach to understand the variety, complexity, and

richness of human culture. What is needed is not more definitions of

culture, but rather an expanded and unifying concept of how to approach

the study of culture. Throughout this chapter it has been painfully

clear that it is easier to discuss culture or to describe culture than

to define it; in this light I certainly do not want to add another

definition, but I would like to attempt to formulate a few statements

which describe my concept of culture. This is important because it is

my concept which underlines this work, and because the reader should be

aware of the author's theoretical and methodological orientation, that

is his professional prejudices, in order to evaluate the work. I

subscribe to the following statements.

1) Culture is contained in the learned systems of classification and

evaluative ordering which constitute the basis of the cognitive tradition

of a society.

2) Certain elements of culture are shared by individual members of

society, others are not.1 Culture is thus learned and transmitted by

individuals, but because of its shared elements it is also supra-


3) Culture is located in time and space. Since time and space, as

well as the individuals and cognitive elements of a society are constantly

changing, culture is processural. Culture is never static.

4) Culture is systemic. And the whole system is more complex than

the sum of the parts taken separately.

5) Culture is manifested concretely in a complex of observable

patterns. Behavior forms one of these more or less congruent patterns.

If one accepts these statements about culture one must also accept

the methodological principles which accompany them. Since culture is

manifested in a complex of patterns, ideally one's approach to the study

of culture ought to be holistic. At the same time, since culture is

systemic it is possible that the study of any part of culture will provide

insights into the whole of the culture; for practical reasons, and be-

cause culture is complex, it is often necessary to do this. Finally, it

is usually most fruitful to study the shared elements of culture and per-

haps one of the best ways to do this is to look at the process of learning

and its end product,knowledge. The employment of these methodological

1See A.F.C. Wallace (1961 and 1962) for a discussion of the concept of
mazeways and the relation of that concept to cognitive theory as well
as to culture and personality.

principles allows for explanations and is not limited to descriptions of

particular cultures.

When a culture is studied one is often struck by the emergence of

a distinctive complex of patterns or configurations (cf., Benedict 1934).

However, from my theoretical and methodological perspective, this

distinctive complex of patterns is no more important than the shared

elements of the cognitive systems of the individual members of the

society which it reflects.

Thus when one describes the patterns which reflect a common cognitive

tradition, one is in essence describing cultural filters common to the

members of a given society. These common cultural filters are the

shared cultural elements which are part of the cultural heritage. The

formation of these filters is part of the learning process. The study

of this process and the filters produced may be viewed as the study of

cultural perception.

Cultural perception refers to theway each individual in a society

views the world and divides it into meaningful categories, and the way

one discriminates among the types of sensory experiences one encounters.

Defined in this manner, cultural perception affects cognition and be-

havior, for knowledge and experience are of necessity assimilated through

perceptual filters or screens that include the criteria for discrimination

and evaluation.

The use of the term cultural perception is analogous to what Kimball

has labelled "Categories of Understanding and Canons of Discrimination"

(1974, Ch. 11 and 12) and what Hardman refers to as linguistic postulates.

Hardman has stated that linguistic postulates are "those ideas and concepts

which run through the whole of the language, cross-cutting all levels,

which are involved as well in the semantic structure and which are tied

. into the world view" (1975:111:14).

The difference between Hardman's definition of linguistic postulates

and Kimball's view is essentially the difference of perspective between

a linguistic anthropologist and a social anthropologist. Kimball interprets

all human activity within its context, one aspect of which is the cultural

heritage. The cognitive tradition is found, in part, in the systems of

classification and evaluative ordering.

In their use the individual not only identifies the
items that come into his sensory and cognitive orbit
but responds to them in a predictable fashion, based
upon his criteria of evaluation. He has been taught
how to think, act, and feel, and to do so differentially
because of the situational nature of learning. Hence
the conditions of experience constitute another of the
variables that affect evaluation and values. When
categories are extended to all experience, we can see
how extensive, comprehensive, or orderly is the cultural
framework. We should also note its stability, since
it is embedded in the language, expressed in mythology,
and governs the thought processes.(Kimball 1974:137,158)

Clearly both of these positions would hold that what I call cultural

perception is supraindividual. The individual's cultural perception

is reflected in his language and behavior, but we must look to social

processes, to interaction and communication, if we are to understand their

nature and process of formation. Because cultural perceptions exist as

unstated assumptions of behavior (including language),"Knowledge of them

cannot be gained by blunt question and answer approaches: they must be

pried out through processes of inference utilizing linguistic, mythologic,

and behavioral data" (Kimball 1974:158).

One purpose of this study has been to examine the ways in which cultural

perception affects attempts at directed culture change specifically

schooling. The focus was the Aymara of rural Bolivia and the attempts

to school them, especially to make the Aymara literate in Spanish and

to integrate them into the national spheres traditionally dominated by

the Hispanic elites of the country. In my study I looked for the

congruencies between cultural patterns, social groupings and practices,

and the hidden logic and framework of language behavior. That the effect

of these relationships on the cognitive filters through which experience

is received and organized may affect schooling in a bicultural environment

has been the concern of this investigation.

Research has suggested that the historical culture patterns, inter-

action patterns, and language behavior exhibited by the bearers of a

given culture form an interlocking network of congruent patterns. The

norms of behavior, traditional values and sentiments, and the modes of

perceiving and analyzing the environment, which undergird this network

of congruent patterns, may be taught outside of schools by means of

traditional educational processes or socialization.

The interlocking cultural patterns produce a net effect equivalent

to a shared cultural perception. Since schooling in a bicultural or multi-

cultural setting may reflect the cultural perception of the dominant

culture group, aspects of a school program in a bicultural or multicultural

setting may be incongruent or in conflict with the traditional culture

patterns of a significant segment of the school-age population.

The thesis of this study may be stated simply. The Hispanic schools

of rural Bolivia are often in conflict with the traditional patterns of

Aymara cultural perception as transmitted through traditional educational


practices or socialization. These incongruencies in cultural perception

may account in part for the ineffectiveness of the school program in

rural Bolivia, which is marked by nonattendance, high dropout rates, a

low rate of scholastic success, and the continuation of illiteracy even

among those who have attended school.



Efforts at schooling rural Aymara children have been ineffective

to a large degree. Many factors have contributed to this lack of

success, but the result has been that the schools available to rural

Aymara communities have been pedagogical intrusions. By examining

historical and contemporary trends, it can be seen that the pace and

direction of educational development in rural Bolivia have been affected

by the socio-economic, political and cultural realities of Bolivia.

Historical Perspectives

While there were schools emphasizing oral traditions and history for

the nobility during the period of Inca rule, there is no evidence that

schools ever existed for the masses of people living on the altiplano,

nor anywhere in what is now Bolivia before the rise of the Spanish empire

in this area.

During the colonial era the only schooling provided for Aymara

communities would have been catechism classes from missionaries. In-

dependence from Spain was achieved in 1825; however, there were no

significant efforts toward schooling the Indian population of Bolivia

during the 19th century. There was some discussion about the establishment

of government schools for Indians, and General Ballivian in the 1840's

decreed that parish priests were to establish parochial schools for them.

However, it does not appear that the decree had any effect.

No real start was made in developing schools in rural Bolivia until

around the turn of this century. Even then the schools were initiated

mostly in provincial capitals, and were not intended for the majority

of Indians living in free communities or on haciendas. Danial Sanchez

Bustamante, Minister of Public Instruction (1908 1909),articulated the

priorities for the development of rural education which were to remain

largely unchanged for several decades. He stated that improvement must

come "first in the departmental capitals, then in the provinces, and

finally in the rural districts" (Suarez 1963:229, quoted in Hohenstein


The government of President Ismael Montes (1905 1909) formalized

several proposals for developing educational opportunities for the

Indians of rural Bolivia. In 1906 the government offered compensation

for anyone who would initiate literacy training among the Indian population.

Few teachers applied (Sangines 1968:37). From 1907 until 1913 the

concept of traveling schools, escuelas ambulantes, was promulgated with-

out much success. Teachers were to receive training for literacy work

among the Indians of the altiplano. Each teacher was to spend fifteen

days in each of two communities before returning periodically for re-

training and skill development. These were the first schools in Latin

America designed especially for Indians. However, it is doubtful that

they had much effect. The number of escuelas ambulantes was never large.

In 1913, the last year such schools are officially mentioned in a

government report, there were only 21 of them operating in the Depart-

ment of La Paz (Hohenstein 1970:9-10).

The Montes government was active in other educational enterprises.

There was an attempt to centralize all educational activities under

one authority, and efforts were made to improve the general level of

instruction through the initiation of a system of inspectors and stand-

ardized examinations (Hohenstein 1970:8-9). Educational materials

obtained from France and the United States were distributed in Ayo Ayo

and other altiplano communities (Hohenstein 1970:8; Sangines 1968:38).

An effort was made to upgrade Bolivian education through the adoption

of concepts and practices used by other countries in both North and

South America, as well as Europe. Study missions were sent abroad and

foreign teachers were invited to Bolivia. Scholarships were also

made available to Bolivian students and teachers for study abroad (Hohenstein

1970:11). One foreign educator, the Belgian Georges Rouma, organized

and directed Bolivia's first normal school, the Escuela Nacional de Maestros

in Sucre in 1909. In 1910 1911 the first normal school for profesores

indigenas was created in La Paz. When this school for rural Indian boys

which had been built in the city failed, the school was transferred to

Guaqui. The intent of the school was changed in an effort to train

agricultural leaders; this effort too was abandoned in 1916 (Sangines

1968:40-41; Hohenstein 1970:13). Georges Rouma, who had been appointed

Bolivia's first Director General of Education in 1914, established a

normal school for the Aymara at Umala in 1915 (Hohenstein 1970:13,14;

Sangines 1968:41).

The Supreme Decree of February 21, 1919 attempted to establish

norms for Indian education by indicating the three classes of institutions

the state would support. These were elementary schools, work schools,

and rural normal schools (Sagines 1968:41; Hohenstein 1970:15). A

change of government in July, 1920 negated any possibilities of im-

plementing the decree (Hohenstein 1970:17).

The government of Hernando Siles (1926 1930) effected some

educational changes. A national teachers'bureaucracy was created with

obligatory savings and a categorization of teachers by years of service;

teachers'salaries were also improved (Sangines 1968:42). This government

also established uniform programs, schedules, and rules for schools and

other educational institutions (Sangines 1968:42-43).

In 1930 a new military government came to power, and a new code of

education was formulated. Under this new code the Ministry of Education

was directed to develop education for the Indian population; one article

of the code called for the owners of mines and haciendas to establish

schools for the children of their laborers, but this was unenforceable

and never implemented (Hohenstein 1970:19). Later this government pro-

mulgated a new set of regulations for the training of rural teachers

(Hohenstein 1970:19).

During the early part of the century little progress was made in

providing education to rural areas of Bolivia. The number of public

schools in 1929 included 656 schools in provincial towns with almost

30,000 students (Sangines 1968:43). As Hohenstein (1970:18) points out,

however, it must be remembered that these provincial schools were not

intended for Indian children, but for the children of the landowners

and merchants living in the larger villages and towns. During this

period, the only significant effort towards schooling rural Aymara

children was that of Protestant missionaries. The pioneer school at

Huatajata was established about 1920 by the Canadian Baptists. This

school served as a model for the development of the school at Warisata

and the subsequent nuclear school concept.

In 1931 the Minister of Education, Bailon Mercado, adhering to the

new code of education, authorized Elizardo Perez to create a new type of

rural school on the altiplano. After some deliberation, Perez finally

settled on the community of Warisata, 12 km. from Achacachi. Warisata

is generally considered to have been the first successful attempt to

establish a public school in an Indian community for Indian children.

Shortly thereafter, a school was established at Caquiaviri near Corocoro

in the Province of Pacajes.

Perez wanted to establish the school without changing any of the

traditional forms of Aymara life (Perez 1962). Indeed, he wanted to

accommodate the school to the Indians. Although PeFez received encouragement

and moral support from Minister Mercado, only the salaries of Perez

and three teachers were paid by the government; in the initial years no

other funds were made available to the school (Hohenstein 1970:23). Perez

capitalized on the cooperative systems of Warisata. The land for the

school, the construction materials, and the labor required to build it

were all supplied by the community. It was Perez' idea that the community,

through its council of elders (amauta) should govern the school (1962:57).

Hohenstein has summarized the innovative concept initiated at Warisata


In general, Perez' position was that the Indian
schools should be located in the Indian communities;
they should provide an active, practical education;
their policy should be determined as much as possible
by the community itself through chosen leaders; the
basic traditions of the Inca, such as the common

lands and the work party, should be retained. For
the most part, teachers should be Indians themselves
or at least persons who had demonstrated their dedication
to Indian education through some initial period of self-
sacrifice. The school was seen as replacing the priests,
corregidores, and land owners in influence and authority.
The difference would be that the community would control
its school; whereas, it had no voice at all in the former

This summation accurately reflects the policies and attitudes of

Perez as stated in his book (1962). Perez' paternalism alienated many

persons, including many present-day Aymara. This, combined with an

apparently strong personality, helped lead to his fall from power and

the demise of his Warisata project. Without doubt, the Warisata ex-

periment had considerable effect upon Bolivian education, as well as the

schooling of Indians in other Latin American countries. The merits of

Perez' approach, however, are still subjects of debate.

Warisata generated the development of the nuclear school system.

The hub of this type of network is the nucleo, primary boarding school,

usually with grades 1 4 or 1 5. Surrounding the nucleo are the feeder

schools or sectional schools (seccionales). These often consisted of

only one or two grades. A student would thus begin school in his or her

own village (or a neighboring one) and then commute to the nucleo or

board there, after successfully terminating at the home seccional. By

1937 there were 12 nucleos in the rural regions of Bolivia (Perez 1962:206),

and by 1938 there was a total of 16, with 63 associated sectional


In 1936 the Estatuto Organico de Educacion Indigena attempted to

establish new guidelines for the education of Indians (Sangines 1968:47;

Hohenstein 1970:25; U.S. A.I.D. 1974:11-5). A new decree calling for

the establishment of schools by hacendados, mines and industries was

again largely ignored (Sangines 1968:56ff). This in turn negated the

requirement for compulsory school attendance for rural children since

there were no schools for them to attend. The Chaco War (1933 1935),

which seems to have had a profound effect on the country by exposing

many rural Indians to the concept of the nation state and enlarging

their awareness, had just ended. Night schools were created for the

children of Chaco War veterans, as well as laborers. In 1936 there were

also some changes in the organizational structure of the Ministry of

Education including the creation of a Director General's Office for the

control of rural education. The section of Asuntos Campesinos (Peasant

Affairs) was created within the Ministry of Education in early 1937.

Its mission was to protect "the rural dweller, studying his conditions

of existence and suggesting to the government measures oriented to im-

prove his situation" (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:11-6). In 1939 a unitary system

of national education was decreed which made all dependent on a single

authority, the Ministry of Education. Civics was introduced into the

curriculum of all schools, standards for student and teacher conduct

were set, and standardized examinations were established (U.S. A.I.D.


The first rural normal school was established at Santiago de Wata

in 1938. In 1942-43 the National Industrial School (Escuela Industrial

de la Nacion, "Pedro Domingo Murillo") was founded in La Paz. Between

1946 and 1952 two literacy campaigns were initiated by the government.

In addition, a major reorganization of rural education was underway.

Between 1943 and 1945, with American advice and assistance (first

through the Cooperative Educational Program {P.E.C.} and later through

the Interamerican Educational Cooperative Service or S.C.I.D.E.),Bolivia

completely reorganized its rural schools.

Those schools formerly under the jurisdiction of the
Department of Campesino Affairs were placed under the
authority of the individual school districts together
with the rural schools they already controlled. Those
schools in the larger provincial towns, however, re-
mained a part of the urban school system and continued
their strictly academic curriculum. (Hohenstein 1970:34)

The program for the newly restructured rural schools called for the

civilization of the Indians through five steps or goals: 1) to develop

good living habits in the campesino, changing his dangerous and un-

healthy practices; 2) to make the campesino a good agronomist who would

conserve the resources of the nation; 3) to promote the use of farm

animals; 4) to promote a basic knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic;

and 5) to make the campesino a good family man.

The Revolution of 1952, in spite of its rhetoric, made few changes

in the system of rural education. Hohenstein (1971:117) has stated that

the MNR took little initiative in the area of education; rather it

responded to the force of the sindicatos (peasant unions) in answering

the demand for teachers. Almost all school buildings continued to be

constructed by the local communities.

Rural schools were placed under the authority of the Ministry of

Asuntos Campesinos, while the urban schools were the sole concern of

the Ministry of Education (Hohenstein 1,970:43-44). Comitas (1967) has

outlined the social and educational consequences of this policy. Provisions

were made for nuclear schools, sectional schools, vocational-technical

schools and rural normal schools which would prepare teachers for rural

schools but not to teach in urban schools (Hohenstein 1970:46-47). No

provisions were made for secondary schools or for possible admission to

university-level work. The stated objectives were very similar to those

of the prerevolutionary rural schools outlined above: to develop

good living habits; to teach literacy; to teach efficient agricultural

practices; to develop technical and vocational aptitudes; to prevent and

to terminate the practices of alcoholism, the use of coca, superstitions

affecting agronomy; and to develop a sense of civic consciousness

and pride. It was not until 1970 that the educational structures were

changed, placing rural schools as well as urban schools under the

authority of the Ministry of Education.

The number of rural nucleos has expanded greatly since the revolution

in 1952 In the 15 years prior to 1952 an average of four nucleos

were constructed each year. Since 1952 the number of new nucleos has

averaged 19 per year. The rate of sectional school construction has

also risen, though not as much as for nucleos. The ratio of seccionales

to nucleos has varied through the years. For the years 1931 1941

there were 29 sectional schools for each nucleo. In the years 1941 1951

about 33 new sectional schools were constructed for each new nucleo.

The rate for the years 1952 1962, however, fell as only nine sectional

schools were constructed for each new nucleo. For the three years of

1963 1966 the rate was back up to 27 new sectional schools for each new

nucleo. Finally, while school construction in rural areas has increased

since the 1952 revolution, this construction has not been uniform for

the different levels of schools. There were no rural colegios until 1967.

Rural Public Schools Today

One Aymara community about which a great deal is known and where

rural schools are well established is Qumpi. The community has been

1The figures used are based on those of the Ministerio de Asuntos
Campesinos 1966, cited in Sangines, 1968:101-102, 104, 107; and from
U.S. A.I.D. Mission to Bolivia, 1974:111-1.

described by Buechler and Buechler (1971). A look at schooling in

Qumpi will serve to illustrate the nature of public rural schools in

Bolivian Aymara communities.

Qumpi is located along the road between Huarina and Tiquina that

carries tourists from La Paz across the straits and on to Copacabana.

The tourist buses do not even slow up as they whiz through the clusters

of houses and fields lying along the shore of Lake Titicaca which comprise

the combined village of Qumpi/Llamacachi. About 1500 people live in this

area. It produces various truck crops, the major cash crop being onions.

Probably owing to the fact that is is located on the road to Copacabana

and Tiquina, where there is a major naval station, Qumpi/Llamacachi enjoys

reliable transportation to La Paz. There is no phone or telegraph

service but both buses and trucks carry passengers and produce to and

from La Paz daily.

Until the revolution on 1952 Qumpi and its six subdivisions of

Qalamaya, Amasi, Tawqa, Qapilaya, Qawaya and Qumpi proper had constituted

one or more haciendas for a century or more.1 Llamacachi succeeded in

maintaining its status as a free community. Llamacachi and the six

sections of Qumpi have exhibited close contact throughout historical

times, though at times this closeness has been marked by hostility in-

stead of friendship. Much of the hostility has been related to the

colono status of the haciendas and the comunario status of the free com-


There was no school in Qumpi/Llamacachi prior to the revolution.

A missionary school was built in Huatajata about 1920, but there is no

1For a detailed account of the history of this area see Buechler and Buechler

evidence that many youngsters from Qumpi/Llamacachi utilized this

facility which was about 10 km. away. The Canadian Baptists built a

primary school in Llamacachi in 1943. Though this school is no longer

used, it provided the first opportunity for schooling for residents of

Qumpi/Llamacachi and served them for many years. A public primary

school was opened in Qumpi in 1958, and the present campus with 8 class-

rooms, a director's office, storage rooms, a dining hall (not now in use),

and 12 apartments for teachers was constructed in 1961. It was not until

1972 that a colegio was constructed, bringing secondary education to this

area for the first time. In the construction of both the primary and

secondary schools, the construction was done by community (or sectional)

assessment. In both cases, each section of Qumpi/Llamacachi built its

equal share one classroom, two teacher's apartments, and so on. Even

today the buildings are not identified by the grade level they house but

by the community that constructed them.

When I asked how many teachers there are at the school, I was told

ten. However, it turns out that one of these is the director and

another is the janitor. There are eight classroom teachers at the

Qumpi school. There are two classes of pre-primaria, two classes of

primaria (first grade), and one class each of the second, third, fourth

and fifth grades.

There are currently about 235 students enrolled. While there are

about 70 students enrolled in primaria, only about 30 attend school

regularly. Only 21 are enrolled in the fifth grade, which represents

an overall attrition rate of about 90 percent. Moreover only about 50

percent of the school-aged children of the area are matriculated. (This

was the estimate of a teacher who is also a native resident of the area.)

There are many girls in the lower grades, but only one is enrolled in

the fifth grade. Nicolas Condori, a teacher at the school and a resident

of Llamacachi, said that girls lack interest in school, and besides,

they are needed for chores at home so they do not stick with their


Of the teachers, there are six males and two females. One female

is from the city. The other is from a nearby altiplano town. She

lives in one of the small one-room duplexes or casitas provided for

the teachers; however, sometimes she commutes to her home town on her

motorcycle. There are twelve casitas for teachers. All are occupied,

mostly by teachers from the secondary school across the road. The

colegio teachers are able to use the casitas since most of the primary

school teachers are residents of the area and thus live at home.

There is an official schedule for the school posted in the director's

office. It is a handmade notice with the days of the week printed

across the top and the classes listed down the left-hand side. School

is scheduled to run from 9:30 to 12:00 in the mornings and from 1:30 to

4:30 in the afternoons. The blocks of time are further divided for each

grade and show the subjects to be taught at each given hour of the

school day. The hourly schedule of subject matter varies with each of

the grades, and with each day. Thus recess, homemaking, and mathematics

are not taught at the same time each day, but vary from day to day for

each grade. This official schedule is not always followed.

For example, one day I observed the students outside lining up

for the afternoon session at 2:10, not 1:30. The afternoon session

consisted of a one-hour class from 2:15 to 3:15. A general recess of

about 20 minutes was followed by another line-up. This time the students

were given instructions and announcements. They were told that there

would be no school on that Friday because the teachers were going to

Tiquina to play a futbol game against the naval officers there. The

students were admonished to study hard for the final exams and not to

waste this free day.

One of the female teachers seemed to be in charge of all of the

line-up formations. At the last one, however, Nicolas- Condori was

there with her, giving the announcements. After doing this in Spanish,

he repeated most of the announcements in Aymara. When speaking in Aymara

he seemed to direct himself to the younger students as if the older ones

should have understood the Spanish version, but not necessarily the

younger ones. The students were lined up by grades, and thus roughly

by age and size too.

After this line-up, each class marched back to its classroom for

dismissal by the appropriate teacher. All of the classes were dismissed

within five or ten minutes. Some fifth grade students remained behind

for some time, occupying themselves with the teacher's pantograph. All

of the other students were gone by 4:00 p.m. It was impossible to tell

how much the schedule had been affected by the presence of visitors,

but it was obviously an influencing factor.

In Chapter I a day at Las Lomas school was described that included

a lecture by a professor from the Instituto Nacional de Estudios LingUisticos,

(I.N.E.L.). The same professor also lectured at Qumpi one day while

I was there. For comparative purposes, that lesson for the fifth.grade

class at Qumpi will be described and then compared with the similar lesson

at Las Lomas.

The fifth grade classroom at Qumpi is about four meters wide and

seven meters long. The wood-floor room is painted bright blue and

yellow. Part of the front wall is black and serves as a chalkboard.

Centered above the blackboard is the national emblem. On either side

of it are two pictures, one of Bolivar and one of Sucre, the first two

presidents of the nation. On the side walls are hand-drawn and -lettered

charts and pictures. These include a map of Bolivia showing its water-

ways, the circulatory system, the digestive system, two charts of

different types of food, and a picture of a bird.

The room contains eight bancos which are long, narrow writing

tables with benches. The bancos were in two rows of four each. Two

to four students sat at each banco. In the right front corner of the

room is the only other furniture. There,two student-sized desks have

been placed at right angles with the bancos, and thus faced the doorway.

There is also a homemade bookcase. It had been constructed of boards

and adobe bricks covered with paper. A variety of primers and notebooks

was shelved on it. The room had no teacher's desk. A few sets of water-

colors were observed on the window sills. Every student had a notebook

and a pencil or ballpoint pen. Some had textbooks on various topics.

A few also had plastic rulers and protractors.

When the visiting professor entered the classroom the students

snapped to attention. They remained standing until the fifth grade

teacher told them to sit down. The teacher introduced the professor to

the students, and then left the room. The professor gave a one-hour

course in reading and writing Aymara.

There were 17 students present, all males. They all appeared to

be close in age, approximately 11 to 13 years old. They were all about

the same size. Seven of the boys wore white school jackets or delantales.

All wore shoes, not sandals.

The professor began speaking in Aymara, occasionally lapsing into

Spanish. The students always responded in Spanish to the professor's

questions even though he repeatedly told them to answer in Aymara.

For example, when they responded in unison, "Si", to one of his questions,

he told them in Aymara that they should say "'Jisa' or 'Ukamaw', "Are

not those the appropriate responses in Aymara?" he asked rhetorically.

The students nodded, as if intimidated not to say "Si", yet still not

willing to say "Jisa" or "Ukamaw".

The professor told the class that they already knew how to read

and write in Spanish; now they should learn to read and write in Aymara

too. "It is easy," he said. He then read some passages from one of

his pamphlets. Afterwards, the professor told the students to come up

and look at the pictures in the pamphlet. Some of the pictures had

been taken at the colegio in Qumpi, and thus those in the photographs

were known to the fifth graders. The boys were very excited over the

pictures and clambered over the bancos in their rush to gather around

the professor and to get a better look at the pictures. Just then another

teacher appeared at the door. On seeing him,the professor admonished

the students for climbing on the desks and told them to return to their

own seats. The teacher entered and took a seat at the back of the room.

He observed for a few minutes and then left without saying anything.

The professor told the students to take out their notebooks and to

copy down his dictation. He read exercises from the pamphlet, imi, iwi,

isi, iri, ichi, iqi. He pointed out that all but the last example can

be written from a knowledge of Spanish. Some boys began conferring with

their neighbors and the professor redressed them. In Spanish he told them

not to copy from each other. The professor reviewed the work, writing

the correct answers on the board. The students then read the list of

phonemic exercises.

Next the professor elicited the names of local birds which live on

the land or down on the shores of the lake. As the boys called out the

names of birds, he wrote them on the blackboard. All of the birds were

named in Aymara. A few of the names were unfamiliar to the professor

and he had to ask the student to repeat it before writing it on the board.

The boys were told to copy the list into their notebooks. The final

list contained 25 different birds. This impressive number demonstrates

the rurality of the area and the boys involvement with nature.

The professor then asked for volunteers to read the list. Most of

the boys volunteered. One at a time, they would stand and read the list

of birds from the board. Most of them did so with little difficulty,

though occasionally one's pronunciation had to be corrected. Then every-

one recited the list in unison.

The professor frequently stopped and made pedagogical use of the

lists he was writing on the blackboard. For example, he asked in Aymara,

"Do you see any O's or E's? No. That is because there are only three

vowels in Aymara. Aymara does not have or use O's and E's like

Spanish does."

Next the professor elicited a list of water birds. The procedure

was the same as before. The final list contained 15 Aymara names for

birds that live in or around the lake. The next exercise was to name animals

that live in the water. There was a little discussion about the animals,

and which are edible or inedible. For example, "We do not eat frogs,"

the professor said.

After this a list of domesticated animals was compiled. The procedure

was the same as with all of the other lists. During the compilation of

this list a bell was heard to ring outside. The students in the fifth

grade class did not seem to pay any attention to it, but several other

classes began to empty out into the courtyard of the school. The students

outside were playing without any apparent involvement by teachers.

Inside, the professor wrote a single word on the blackboard and asked

students to read it. It was a long word with many suffixes and the

professor had to help most students to pronounce it. By this time the

fifth grade teacher had reappeared. He indicated that it was time for

the class to adjourn, and the students emptied out into the courtyard.

While a couple of teachers called the students into formation for

the final announcements of the day and dismissal, the professor and

I were engaged in conversation with the other teachers. This informal

conversation lasted about an hour and touched upon a variety of topics.

There was talk of the new road being built into the community, and the

changes it might bring. The professor suggested that the community

ought to draw up a plan for development since undoubtedly Qumpi would be

a city within a few years. If they acted now they could control the


One of the teachers told us that this school had been designated a

nucleo even though it has no seccionales. It is the only school like this

in the country, though there may be seccionales built for it soon. The

professor suggested that they set up an experiment to turn Qumpi into

a model school a bilingual school. Some of the teachers expressed

support for the idea.

The conversation then turned to religion. There are now six

Protestant groups operating inthe Qumpi/Llamacachi area. The female

teacher from La Paz who does not speak Aymara is a Seventh Day Adventist.

One or two other teachers are also Protestants and some of the others

are sympathetic to the Protestant cause. The teachers seemed to think

that Protestantism was all right since it allowed for upward mobility

and did not hold back individuals or communities. Someone said that

there may be more Protestants than Catholics in the Qumpi area now.

However, it is the Catholic church which sits on the community plaza

next to the colegio and directly across from the primary school.

The fifth grade teacher told us that all of the students in his class

can read, but that they do not pronounce well when they read, or even

when they speak Spanish. There was a lot of conversation on the problem

of using Aymara in the classroom. One teacher said that there is a

movement for the use of Aymara in the classroom and maybe the next government

will take some action. Others doubt that there will be a change in

policy. All seemed to agree that it would be a good idea.

Several teachers commented that there was a general lack of motivation

among students today. Someone said that a bachillerato means nothing

these days. "There are students that graduate from the colegios who

cannot read. There are no standards any more." There was general agreement

and several examples were offered. The fact was accepted, but no one

proposed a solution.

Nicolas Condori said, "If the teacher of a class does not speak

Aymara, it is easy for the students to cheat. They whisper the answers

in Aymara or scribble them on paper if they can write Aymara. A consequence

is that Hispanic teachers come down hard on any talking in Aymara in

the classroom. And at exam time, if a student answers in Aymara they

write down "No Reply'."

Just then some students from the fifth grade, leaving late, walked

past us. The female teacher from La Paz, the only teacher at the school

who does not speak Aymara, called out a question to the students.

The oldest, or at least the biggest in the group, responded without

hesitation in Aymara to the question in Spanish; and this to a teacher

who does not speak Aymara. This contrasted greatly with the behavior

observed in the class given by the professor. At that time he had

difficulty getting the students to use Aymara in the classroom. It

should be noted that the incident occurred an hour or so after normal

school hours. Perhaps this reflects a difference in language usage on

the part of the students: Spanish in the classroom, Aymara outside of


One teacher spoke of education por regla (by ruler) back in his

school days. The teachers maintained order by relying heavily on the

application of a ruler across the palm. Teachers also used a belt;

requiring students to hold their arms above their heads, they beat

them around the chest. The man said, "The teachers would tease the

students just to watch them flinch, but I would not flinch." Punishment

was meted out for not knowing the lessons as well as not behaving ap-

propriately. Another said that teachers still cane students, either hitting

them on the bottom or on the side of the head; the city teachers tend

to hit students on the head more than teachers from the campo.

It was agreed that the second grade is the class with the most

discipline problems. I observed the young and inexperienced second grade

teacher in action. The students enjoyed picking on him. For example,

I had been asked to take a class picture of the second grade. The

teacher had great difficulty isolating his class from others in the

courtyard during recess. Other students would try to line up with the

segundo for the photograph. He also had difficulty getting his own

students to line up like he wanted them. As the other students kept

molesting him, he picked up a rock and feigned throwing it at them.

These older boys, perhaps third graders, would then run a few feet

to avoid the rock. Finally, in desperation, the teacher did throw the

rock at some students. I could not tell if it hit its mark, or even

if the teacher intended it to do so.

While some similarities with the Las Lomas school,which was discussed

in Chapter I, are readily apparent, there are also some differences.

The two communities are quite different in regard to education and the

support they provide the schools. While Qumpi/Llamacachi has identifiable

territorial divisions, these distinct communities are able to unify

themselves in order to provide their children with good schools. Las

Lomas, on the other hand, seems to be a divided community that is

unable to unite for the common cause of a school. Qumpi/Llamacachi

has built its own primary and secondary schools, and even apartments

for teachers in an effort to attract better teachers to the schools.

Las Lomas had provided nothing for its school, and before the Comite para

Progreso Escolar (C.P.E.) established the school there had not been a

community school in Las Lomas.

Some similarities were observed in the operation of these two schools.

Both had a fixed schedule, but it was not rigidly adhered to at either

school. Both schools also had problems with materials. The materials at

Las Lomas were scavenged materials donated by the C.P.E.. Materials

at Qumpi/Llamacachi were in short supply. Books were especially scarce.

The few odd books owned by students were prized possessions, as was

the teacher's own small private library.

Language problems were evident in both schools. The lessons

by the I.N.E.L. professor provided insight into some of the underlying

language difficulties facing students and teachers. Generally the

younger students at Las Lomas were eager and excited students of Aymara

literacy. The older fifth grade students at Qumpi, socialized longer

by the school, were more hesitant to pick up on Aymara use in the


Having examined two examples of schooling at the microcosmic

level, the discussion will now focus on the more general level of the

national school system. I shall begin with a brief description of the

structure of Bolivian rural education, citing some specific examples

in order to illustrate how the schools function.

The fact that rural schools operated under separate structures

from urban schools until 1971 has already been mentioned. The effect

of this policy has been analyzed by Comitas (1967). However, these

separate structures prevented the easy movement of rural students into

the high schools and universities located exclusively in the cities and

governed by the Ministry of Education. Even normal schools operated

under separate structures which recognized and reinforced the superiority

of the urban system. Teachers trained at urban normals could teach at

any school in Bolivia, if they so desired, while teachers trained in

rural normals could be certified to teach only at rural schools. More-

over, graduates from the sixth grade of rural primary schools could gain

admission only to rural normals, while a bachillerato (high school

diploma) was necessary for admission to the urban normal schools. It

should be remembered that there were no rural secondary schools prior to

1967. Since 1971 the Ministry of Education has administered rural as well

as urban schools. This has made possible, at least theoretically, the

incorporation of rural school graduates into institutions of higher

education, for example universities and professional schools. The

system today, however, is marked by a high degree of centralism that

allows for little local input, even in such matters as teacher selection.

Schools are an important political element at the national level.

Not only does the high degree of centralization make schools vulnerable

to the political gambits of government and union leaders, but also to

the students themselves. Another fact underscoring the political

potential of education is the large percentage of the national

budget that it demands, and the great number of professionals that it


Most recent Bolivian governments have had to deal with school

strikes or the threat of strikes; 1974 was no exception. On January 26th,

it was announced that due to heavy rains and flooding in some areas of the

country school vacations would be extended until March 4th. (Flooding

normally occurs in some areas every year during the rainy season which

usually runs from November until March.) The Minister of Health had

declared that the floods posed a problem of epidemics; the Direccion

General de Educacion agreed and declared that schools should remain

closed another month. It was popularly believed that the government

had closed schools for political reasons, fearing strikes by students

and/or teachers.

During the first week of September, the urban teachers went on

strike. The government threatened to close the school year early and

not pay teachers for the remainder of the year. Most rural teachers

then walked out in sympathy with the urban teachers. The strike began

when a dissident group of teachers called for new elections within the

teacher organization which serves teachers in the urban area of La Paz.

It was said that when the present government came to power that they

had appointed the current union leaders. The dissidents wanted to elect

their own leaders. The government refused to allow elections during

the current school year, saying that teachers should return to the

classrooms and that negotiations would be conducted after the end of

the current school year in December. Realizing that the postponement

of negotiation until after school ended would seriously affect their

bargaining position, the teachers refused to wait. The dissidents held

a meeting in an effort to elect new leaders. The meeting was broken up

by a group of loyalist supporters who started a brawl, destroying

furniture in the meeting hall. A short time later, several leaders

of the dissenting group were arrested by the government, and at least

one leader was forced into exile in Argentina. A week later on October

3, the school year was officially ended for 1974, with only about half

of the 200 days on the school calendar having been realized.

Several rumors were offered to explain the reality behind the rhetoric.

One rumor implied that all of the current appointed union leaders were

political hacks and not professionals. This rumor did not seem completely

true. It was also said that these political appointees had given all of

the choice jobs within the union to teachers who were supportive of

the current government, and members of the government party. Still another

rumor suggested that the improper use of union money was at the root

of the problem. It was widely held that a general audit would reveal


Whatever the truth of the situation, whether there was any impropriety

or not, the point is that all of the schools in Bolivia were closed,

with little regard for the official calendar or the scheduled programs

and curricula. Political considerations took precedence over academic

ones. National politics waged in the nation's capital closed all schools,

even the rural schools. The political considerations of the situation

would have had no effect in rural areas whatsoever, had they not resulted

in the closing of schools. It can be assumed that few rural people

understood the political considerations or even knew what they were.

Rural residents, or at least the ones I talked with, were concerned

only that the schools were closing early, depriving their children of

the opportunity to attend school and learn. It was reasoned that schools

had closed early before, and would do so again.

It was interesting to observe teachers during the period of the

strike, before the government terminated the school year. Teachers

from urban areas stationed at rural schools tended to pledge support

to the urban teachers very early in the fray. Some returned to their

homes in the city to await resolution of the situation. Others reported

to school daily, but refused to teach classes. At one rural school,

even after the teachers had refused to hold classes for three consecutive

days, over half of the enrolled pupils were still reporting to the school

every morning and every afternoon. At the scheduled hour, the teachers

would ring the bell and the students would form the line-up. One or two

teachers would address the assembled students, giving them instructions

and exhorting them not to waste this period of time but to continue to

study hard. Then the students would be dismissed early to return home

or to play on the school grounds. In Qumpi, where all of the primary

teachers except one are rural residents of the area many being

natives of Qumpi or Llamacachi school continued until the government

enforced the closing of the school year, and graduation exercises were

held. At the colegio in Qumpi, only one teacher is a native of the area.

He and the director were the only two to report to school during the

period of the strike, thus forcing the effective closing of the colegio

all during the month-long strike before the government closed the schools.

The political importance of education keeps it in almost constant

public attention. There is a never-ending array of commission reports,

policy proposals, government studies (a recent one occupied 13 published

volumes), as well as the development of new curricula and programs.

Schools are available to a greater number of communities today, but in

spite of this fact the basics of rural education on the altiplano seem,

for the most part, to have remained unchanged since the 1940's. A brief

sketch of rural primary curricula and programs seems appropriate.

Fig. 1 shows the traditional organization of grades and the paths

of both rural and urban students. The recent reorganization of rural

schools has resulted in the addition of intermedio (middle school) and

medio (high school) to the rural system. It has also resulted in stricter

admission requirements and examinations for entrance into institutions

of higher education. For example, formerly a graduate of a rural nucleo

with only 5 or 6 years of primary schooling could gain admittance to a

rural normal school. Beginning in 1971, four years of secondary education

were required for matriculation at a rural normal school (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:

Higher Education

Urban Education

Girl's Professional

,4- 5 6



4 5 6

1-2 1-2-3-4-5-1-2-3-1-2-3-4

University & Professional

Military Academies

Urban Normal Schools

Rural Education

Sectional Schools
-1 2 3 4

Rural Normal Schools

Ll 2- 3- 4- 5- 6
Nuclear Schools

Fig. 1. Formal Sequences in the School System of Bolivia with the
Number of Years Offered in Each Type of School.





IV-95). With the current expansion of rural secondary schools, it may

soon be necessary to have completed the requirements for a rural

bachillerato before being admitted to a rural normal school.

The emphasis at rural schools continues to be "practical education".

This focus, of course, does not prepare rural students for academically

competitive examinations, such as those required for admittance to

university. Depending on the school's size and facility, most rural

nucleos will offer preparations in some or all of the following: home

economics, health education, carpentry, mechanics, handicrafts and

arts, agriculture and livestock production and care.

The lack of textbooks has previously been cited. Even those text-

books which are intended for use in rural schools would be of questionable

value if they were widely available. An analysis of primary school

readers (Miracle 1973) showed that the structures and values depicted

in the textbooks are congruent with the nature of the social order of

the Hispanic elites of Bolivia. The general perspective of the stories

in the readers is that of a monolithic urban society which occasionally

deals with outsiders who exist on the periphery. Indigenous American

cultures are seen as significant for their cultural heritage, but contemporary

Americans are viewed only as servants or as potential converts to Christianity.

Not only are textbooks scarce in rural schools, but libraries and

laboratories are practically nonexistent. Most teachers maintain a

small private library for the use of their students. Teachers are neces-

sarily careful in most instances not to allow the books to be removed from

the classroom. I never observed a lending library or laboratory equipment

at any school I visited. The teachers and director at Qumpi, though,

were hopeful that they might someday acquire a science laboratory.

Bilingual education is much talked about in Bolivia, as it is

elsewhere. As has been pointed out, the official policy has been

castellanizacion. Recently, however, both local teachers and national

officials at the Ministry of Education have been discussing new bilingual

policies and programs. There has even been some bureaucratic accommodation

toward this end with the appointment of an American missionary, who

has held an office in the Ministry of Education for many years, to head

up a new agency on bilingual education. It would appear that this move-

ment has gained impetus from the U.S. A.I.D. mission to Bolivia which

has been considering the implementation of a multimillion-dollar bilingual

education project. The proposed project would include grants and loans

to the Bolivian government and the use of U.S. technical assistance in

implementation and maintenance.

There are many opinions popularly expressed in Bolivia on the

subject of the language policy in rural education. The attitudes of the

educators at the school level would seem critical if any change were at-

tempted. This subject was broached in the discussions with the Qumpi teachers.

Attitudes, toward the use of Amerind languages in schools,are often af-

fected by other values and considerations.

Bolivia has not one, but two, major Amerind languages in addition to

Spanish. Users of both Aymara and Quechua have long suffered from the pre-

judice of Spanish speakers. In addition, the Amerind languages differ phone-

mically from Spanish, which results in problems of distinction for Amerinds

learning Spanish and in difficulty in reaching agreement on an alphabet

for writing Aymara and Quechua. Interviews with teachers and directors

at two different schools illustrated these points.

In Guaqui I talked with the director of the school which serves the

children of the railroad workers there. The director, who was about

35 years old, said he would have preferred an assignment to a valley

school. He is a native of Sucre and previously he had taught in the

oriented (eastern lowlands). He felt that students in the valleys are

more open, and he would prefer to work with them.

The director said that none of the teachers at the Guaqui school

spoke Aymara, and that there had been no attempt to use it in the classroom.

He has heard talk, however, that the Ministry of Education might attempt

some kind of bilingual education experiments. He said that none of the

teachers at his school were from the altiplano.

When asked about the Spanish/Aymara language problems for the students,

the director said that most all of them learn Spanish within four months.

After that it is not a problem. Most of the parents of the children

speak Spanish, though Aymara is usually spoken in the home, he admitted.

The railroad workers all speak Spanish at work, at least in formal


Later we talked with one of the teachers at this same school. The

teacher taught one of the second grade classes. He was in his twenties, and

of quiet demeanor. Asked specifically about language problems in

the classroom, he volunteered that he sometimes uses Aymara.

This occurred in the presence of the director, who had just stated

moments before that none of the teachers spoke Aymara, and that it was

never used in the classrooms. It is hard to believe that the director

did not know of this teacher's Aymara. Perhaps he preferred to have us be-

lieve that only Spanish is used in his school, and that that was sufficient.

It should be noted that the director did not take us to this teacher on

purpose; rather our meeting with him was quite by accident. Also, the

teacher was not the least embarrassed nor did he apologize for his

use of Aymara in the classroom.

The teacher said that many of the children had problems with Spanish.

Of course, he continued, by the time he gets them in the second grade

most have already learned enough Spanish to get by. However, at the

beginning of the year he had to use Aymara quite often with his class.

Many suffer from "dyslexia",he volunteered. Asked to explain, he said,

"For example, they invariably confuse 'd' and 't' or 'o' and 'u'." This,

of course is not unusual and has nothing to do with dyslexia. There is

no "d" or voiced dento-alveolar in Aymara. There are only three vowels

in Aymara, "i", "a", and "u"; and "o" is a variant of "u". This type

of confusion is to be expected.

"The really. bad problems are in the first year (primaria)," the teacher

said. "By segundo they can communicate (in Spanish). But their pronunciation

is terrible!" What do you do to overcome problems of language in the

classroom? "I speak in Aymara."

The views of the Aymara director of the colegio in Ancoraimes were dif-

ferent than those of the director in Guaqui. The colegio in Ancoraimes

was formerly a mission school of the Methodist church. The Methodists

still own the facilities and provide the school with some support but

the government has the responsibility of staffing the school. There are

two directors, one paid by the government, one by the Methodists. The

director supported by the Methodists is a member of that denomination,

an Aymara resident of that area, and has been associated with the church

and the school in Ancoraimes for many years long before the government

entered into the present arrangement with the Methodists at the Ancoraimes

colegio. At one point I talked at length with this man.

The director told me that he thinks Aymara should be used in the

classroom. He said that the difference in reactions from the students

when he uses Aymara is amazing. The director often goes into a class-

room and uses Aymara with the teacher right there, and the students

respond to his Aymara while they do not respond to the Spanish of the

regular teacher.

I offered the director some pamphlets in Aymara published by the

Institute Nacional de Estudios Ling'uisticos (I.N.E.L.). He was not

interested in them. He said that he worked with CALA (a Protestant

missionary literacy program) and that the alphabet used in the I.N.E.L.

pamphlets was not good Aymara because it did not use "C" but "K", and

because it did not use all five vowels. "And besides," he said, "We

already have the Bible printed in the CALA alphabet."

One of the problems related to language use in the schools is the fact

that most rural teachers are not from rural areas.AtAncoraimes, for

example, the director complained that none of the teachers (other than

himself) was from the campo. "None of the teachers speak Aymara. This

is the problem," he said. This would also appear to be a problem else-

where. Only about 40 percent of the rural teachers are from rural areas

(Bolivia 1973:39:5ff; cited in Albo 1973:23). The urban and semi-

urban teachers assigned to rural schools often have trouble adjusting

to the campesino environment and usually would prefer to be in an urban

situation. The effectiveness of those rural teachers who do not speak the

language of the majority of the students is hampered. There is much

transferring of teachers, often within a school year.

The amount of training that rural teachers have received varies

considerably, though most are probably graduates of rural normal schools.

The first rural normal school was built in Santiago de Huata in 1938.

At the present time there are 15 rural normal schools and seven additional

rural technical institutes which train teachers for rural areas. The

technical institutes are used by rural teachers to obtain specialization

in a subject area, to update their professional knowledge, and to obtain

certificates which can lead to an increase in their salaries. It is

worth noting that the Ministry of Education is obligated by law to

place all graduates from the normal schools in teaching positions. In

other words, graduates are assured job placement by the government.

Becoming a teacher is a goal difficult to achieve for even the most

dedicated, persevering Aymara student. Due to economic pressures it

usually requires patronage or family support. Teaching is one of the

few avenues of upward mobility open to the rural Aymara, and can serve

as a stepping stone for further achievement. Biographical sketches

of three rural teachers will illustrate these points. While all three

are Aymara speakers from altiplano communities, they are from different

areas, teach in different schools and have reached their current profes-

sional status via quite different routes.

Simon Jamach'i was introduced in Chapter I. He is the young teacher

at the school in Las Lomas. A native of the Department of Oruro, the

23-year-old Jamach'i is unmarried and lives with relatives in the

environs of La Paz. He attends classes at both the normal school in

La Paz and at the university.

Jamach'i says that he comes from a family of educators and that

this has encouraged him in his studies to become a teacher. He is using

the income from teaching at Las Lomas to help support his studies at the

normal and at the university. He had just been admitted to the university

when I met him, and he was quite elated over this turn in his career.

Jamach'i's move to the city can probably be considered permanent.

While he is now teaching in a rural school, his training at the normal in

La Paz will eventually qualify him for a more lucrative position as an

urban teacher. Moreover, if he is able to complete the university, he may

well enter a career other than classroom teaching.

Nicolas Condori, 49, was born in Qumpi and teaches in the primary

school there today. Condori began his studies as a youth in a small

private school started by the residents of Qumpi in the early 1940's.

Later he attended the mission school in Llamacachi. During this time

he also worked for the patron on the hacienda. After completing four

years of primary school in Llamacachi, Condori had to walk 12 km. daily

to the mission school in Huatajata in order to continue his education.

About this time, at the age of 19, Condori was drafted into military

service. During his time in the military his competency in Spanish im-

proved. On his return to Qumpi, Condori completed thesixthyearof primary

education at Huatajata. After graduation, Nicolas Condori began to teach

in the school system of the Canadian Baptists. Condori taught in several

schools and also obtained one more year of schooling at the colegio

biblico in Huatajata. After this, Condori taught variously in the

schools in Hautajata, Llamacachi, and Qumpi.

In 1962 Condori secured a government scholarship which enabled him

to attend the normal school in Santiago de Huata for two years. He

lacked money to purchase the necessary study materials for his final

examinations, and was forced to wait until the next year. He completed

the examinations successfully in April, 1964 and received his certificate.

His first position after graduation from normal school was at a

school in the yungas (a tropical area) near Caranavi. He requested a

transfer out of the jungle, but was given another jungle school after

the first year. He stayed six months before returning to Qumpi. He has

taught in Qumpi since 1965.

In addition to teaching, Nicolas Condori, with the help of his-wife,

has been quite successful in his agricultural and business ventures. He

also gained the envy of his neighbors by traveling to the United States

to teach Aymara to Peace Corps volunteers.

The Condori children have not followed in the educational profession

of their father. The girls, like their mother, are monolingual Aymara

speakers. The boys all attended schools, but none were very successful.

One son is now a mechanic, another a brickmason, and one is a musician.

Only the youngest son has returned to Qumpi, where he helps work the

Condori chakras or fields.

Martin Choque is 33 years old. He was born in Chukinapi and

attended school there for three years. After that he walked to a nucleo

an hour away where he completed the sixth grade. Following that he

attended the normal school in Santiago de Huata for four years. Martin's

father always insisted that all of his sons attend school, and was quite

stern in forcing them to study hard.

After graduating from normal school, Martin taught for four years in

Copacabana. Later he went to the Instituto Superior de Ensenanza Rural

(I.S.E.R.) in Taraija for two years where he specialized in mathematics.

Since completing his studies at I.S.E.R. Choque has taught for four

years at the primary school in Ancoraimes. (This school is completely

separate from the colegio in Ancoraimes mentioned above.)

Martinismarried to an urban school teacher and they have a house in

the environs of La Paz. During the school year he spends the weekdays in

Ancoraimes and the weekends in La Paz. His wife teaches at a school

in La Paz.

Recently Choque took a special course to become a director. Al-

though he received good grades, he did not receive the certificate at

the end of the course. He went to the offices of the Ministry of Ed-

ucation in an effort to secure the certificate. Officially he was told

that nothing could be done; unofficiallyhewasinformed.thatit would be

necessary to pay certain bureaucrats in order to receive the certificate

and subsequent appointment as a director of a school. Choque balked at

this. He argued that since he had made good grades in the course it

was not necessary for him to pay a bribe. This should be required only

of those who did not do well in the course. He futilely spent several

days waiting in one outer office after another in an effort to find an

official who could help him. Finally in frustration he showed up at

the ministry offices drunk one day, threatening violence. The police

were called, but his sister,who had happened by chance to see him earlier

outside the ministry, intervened. She took him home and consoled him.

As far as I know Martin Choque never received the certificate to which

he felt entitled.

Other Educational Enterprises

There are many educational enterprises operated by various ministries

and agencies of the Bolivian government, though only a few such programs

directly affect the Aymara living on the altiplano. The Ministry of

Defense oversees the service academies and a military preparatory school.

The Ministry of Health has a nursing school. The Ministry of the Inter-

ior operates a national police academy. The National Council of Minors

sponsors specialized schools for handicapped children. The state-control-

led mining and petroleum industries, as well as the national railroads,

offer more general educational facilities to their employees and the

children of their employees. This is a fringe benefit of

working in these industries, since the schools they operate are usually

considered to be superior to rural public schools.

The schools of the YPFB (national petroleum industry) are located in

the lowland areas where oil exploration and production is underway. There-

fore, these schools lie outside the area of focus of this study. Schools

of the Corporacion Minera de Bolivia (COMIBOL) and the Ferrocarriles (rail-

roads) do serve Aymara areas of the altiplano.

COMIBOL has its own Departamento de Educacion which staffs 82 schools

with 1542 teachers and administrators (El Diario 1/24/74) and serves a

total school population of about 52,000 students (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:II-6).

While these schools are under the nominal control of the Bolivian Ministry

of Education, COMIBOL fully operates and manages them. Most of the

larger enterprises have an administrative and supervisory staff that over-

sees all of that mine's schools.

Seventy-one of these COMIBOL-operated schools offer only the primary

grades. Almost all of those that employ more than a few teachers have

some course specialization. The larger schools tend to have teachers

in music, physical education, and manual education (usually with boys and

girls segregated). A majority of the larger schools also have specialists

in language, mathematics, social studies, natural science, English and

French. Only one school has an assistant for its library. Almost all

have a director and a secretario regente.

COMIBOL sponsors two industrial high schools. The curricula at the

two are almost identical. The emphasis is on mechanics and electricity.

Both schools have three teachers in each of these two subject areas.

There are nine general education colegios or high schools in the

COMIBOL system. Almost all of these schools have courses in language

and literature, philosophy, psychology, social studies, natural science

and chemistry, math and physics, English and French. Five of the nine

high schools also offer music, plastic arts, and physical education. There

is little geography or history offered. Only one school has a librarian.

Like the others, the colegios usually have a director and either a

secretario, regente or secretario regente.

Once I visited a school sponsored by the national railroad system.

This school, located in Guaqui, has already been mentioned. Unfortunately,

the day that I arrived all the teachers in Guaqui had met and decided to

go on a work stoppage indefinitely in support of the urban teachers. There

are three primary schools and one colegio in Guaqui and none were open for

classes. The teachers were reporting to school all day and students

would come for the line-ups and a few announcements from the teacher.

Then the students were dismissed and the teachers spent the remainder of

the day reading newspapers and talking. The teachers were refusing to

enter the classrooms with the students. By going to school all day

every day, they felt that it showed that theywere not trying just

to avoid work obligations.

Two of the three primary schools or escuelas in Guaqui are regular

public schools or fiscales; the other is a railroad company school that

serves the 70 families employed there. This school is connected with

the Ministry of Education in that the government pays the salaries of

the teachers. The railroad provides extras such as a social worker and

extra supplies and materials. The school is located in an edifice owned

by the Catholic Church. Formerly it was a convent or a monastery. It

appears that the railroad now pays rent for use of the building.

The school has 240 students in grades 1 5. All but four or five

of these students are children from railroad families. The school has

one first grade class, two second grade classes, and one class each of

the third, fourth and fifth grades. The enrollment is fairly even except

for the slightly larger, and hence divided second grade. There are 63

students enrolled in the first grade, and 59 in the fifth grade.


is a total of 79 second graders. It should be

dropouts and absenteeism, but these do not seem

this school. The figures cited above are those

not attendance. The attendance graphs for 1974

all classes, hovering between 80 to 90 percent.

showed a drop to 60 to 70 percent for the month

about this, I was told that this was because of

director said that none of the children in this

noted that there are

to be severe problems in

of the actual matriculation,

were about the same for

Curiously all the charts

of June. When I asked

the winter vacation. The

school stayed out during

times of planting or harvesting like they did in other schools in the


When we arrived for the afternoon line-up at 2:00 p.m., only about

half the students were there. Since they had learned that morning before

lunch that the teachers were in paro (not going to work), it is surprising

that 100 or so bothered to show up knowing that there would be no

school. Most of these students were dressed in white school jackets,

and all wore shoes.

The director was happy to show us around the school. We went into all

the rooms of the school except two classrooms. Since the building was

not originally intended for a school, the rooms were not all the same.

All were 1 to 3 times larger than the classrooms in Qumpi. Neither were

they all furnished as in Qumpi. Some rooms had desks, some different

types and sizes of tables and desks. Generally, the rooms were nice

and large, with plenty of sunlight, and very clean. The blackboards,

built into the walls, were too high for the younger children. In one

room a wooden platform about eight inches high had been built all along

the blackboard so that the small children could reach it better. The

director complained about these high boards and the fact that they were

black. He wanted the railroad to install new chalkboards of a different

color. He complained that the railroad was not helping as promised,

nor as they previously had aided the school.

All of the rooms were more-or less alike in one respect. That is

they all tended to have the same kinds of things hanging on the walls.

There were patriotic pictures, such as those of Bolivar and Sucre, and

depictions of various battles. No present or recent events or leaders

were represented. There were also hand-drawn charts, diagrams and

pictures on several topics which had been done by the individual teachers.

The most universal of these topics seemed to be the human body, especially

the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems; animals, birds and

edible plants were also popular.

There were also hygiene charts on the walls in some rooms. Some of

these charts were divided into four or more sections with a hygiene

message in each part. Others had a single message on each poster.

Cleanliness was the main theme of these posters. "Brush your teeth."

"Wash your hands at least once a day." "Wash your hair once a week."

Another chart showed a boy taking a shower. There were also pictures

of toilet bowls, with accompanying admonitions. One could not help

but wonder how many of the students here had seen such things, or had access

to them, or had any idea of the germ theory underlying the hygiene


After touring the classrooms, we were taken to the director's office.

We had seen this room earlier when we were taken there by a teacher upon

first entering the school. We had waited there until the teacher had

gotten the director. The office was a nice, fairly large room, just off

the entry hall and across from the supply room. There was a desk and

chair for the director, and several more chairs and a bench for visitors

or teachers. The walls were lined with official-looking documents, papers

with seals on them and decrees from the Ministry of Education.

We were also shown the supply room which was full of all kinds of

teaching aids. There was a stand full of charts. There was a cabinet-

like viewer with a roll of pictures inside manipulated by two handles.

The rollers were not working, but the picture showing was one that looked

like it might have come from a U.S. primer series. It showed a 1950's

Norman Rockwell-like policeman helping school children across the street.

There were also stacks of papers in the room and a few texts and other

books. On the walls were a few more examples of the types of pictures

found in the classrooms. In addition, in this room were the attendance

charts for the year.

Finally, there is one other Bolivian sector that contributes toward

the education of rural youths the military. One arm of the

military, Accioh Civica, is quite active in the area of public construction

in rural areas. During the 11 years it has been in existence, Accion

Civica has completed 2500 construction projects; about 1500 of these were

school buildings (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:111-13). Other programs of the Bolivian

military include public health information services, community development

projects, agricultural experiment stations and development projects, the

printing and distribution of a farmers' guide, and literacy training

(U.S. A.I.D. 1974:111-13).

The military also offers educational opportunities to those within

its own ranks. In addition to the military academies which train officers,

the various military services offer several types of schooling opportunities

to conscripts and enlisted men. With U.S. assistance, several technical

schools have been established for military personnel. Short courses in

subjects such as truck driving and mechanics are also available. These,

along with classes in literacy for those who need it, help provide skills

to conscripts which will serve them in later life.

About 10,000 lower class male youths are conscripted each year

into the Bolivian military (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:111-13). It has long been

a commonly held view that military conscription was beneficial for rural

youths and for the nation. It has been said that one to two years of

military service provided a major educational and nationalizing force,

serving to bring the rural Indians into the mainstream of Bolivian

national life. This may be true, but another point of view was expressed

by a 17-year-old rural Aymara. While the military offers certain ed-

ucational opportunities to rural youths, especially in the acquisition

of Spanish language and literacy skills, it also reflects and reinforces

the social and racial prejudices of the Hispanic elites of the country.

The following statements are taken from an interview with a student

from a rural colegio, and reflect his perceptions of the matter.

"The rich from the city almost always buy their way out of the obligatory

service. It costs about b$2000. (The current exchange rate is 20

Bolivian pesos to one dollar.) Those from the campo cannot afford that.

There are ads in the newspapers by those who perform the necessary paper-

work for a fee."

The boy said that he and most other youths look forward to military

service, especially if it is only two-three months and not two years.

The law has been that those youths who are bachilleros only have to

serve during the vacation period. They are released in time for univer-

sity and normal school classes a couple of months later. This is an

obvious prejudice in favor of urban Hispanics, who are the primary

recipients of a bachillerato. However, the law has been changed supposedly,

and beginning next year it will be a mandatory two-year service for


Most youths from the campo see service as an adventure, I was told.

It is true that some do not want to go. This is because they do not

have the voluntad de obedecer (will to obey). "However, they are the

ones that need the discipline. For those who have given their parents a

rough time at home the service serves as a castigo (punishment). Always

the youths leave the military mas hombre (more man). It is a good ex-

perience for them."

Those who do not read or do not speak Spanish have a very rough

time in the service; it is said they suffer much. "They are punished

a lot because they do not understand instructions. They are given the

job of taking care of the dogs. Teachers who are doing their servicio

military or obligatorio are given the job of teaching those who cannot

read or speak Spanish."

"Some youths avoid their obligatorio for many years. However, it is

difficult to get a job without one's certificate of military service.

One cannot enter normal school or work in a bureaucracy without this

certificate. All one can do is stay in the community and work on

the chakras; and hope they do not catch up with you."

"There is much prejudice in the military. All the officers are

Hispanics. Almost all of the conscripts are campesinos. Many campesino

youths would like to enter the military academies; but there is much

prejudice in the military academies. If an applicant has a campesino

surname they do not even consider the application." One youth named

Condori changed his name to Condi in an effort to get accepted. However,

it is difficult to get admitted anyway, unless you know someone or have

a relative who is a career officer. There are also physical standards

(tall and thin difficult enough for most campesinos) and a difficult

exam (similar to those given for entrance into normal schools or the

university). A few officers, and many noncoms, are from the campo.

Private Schools and Foreign Involvement

One-third of all urban primary students and one-fifth of all rural

primary students in Bolivia attend private schools (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:

III-7). The majority of these private schools are church-related schools.

The role of the Catholic Church, as well as that of the various Protestant

denominations operating in Bolivia, will now be examined. The educational

efforts of the Protestants will be considered first.

Protestant missionaries began building schools in Bolivia around the

turn of the century. The first Protestant schools were probably in

the cities, but rural schools were also built early in this century.

The Methodists built the American Institute (now the Colegio Evangelical

Metodista) in La Paz in 1906 and its sister school the Cochabamba

Institute in 1912. The Canadian Baptists built the school complex at

Huatajata about 1920.

Today there are only two mission schools and 19 national schools

supported by foreign missionaries (IDOC 1974:65). This reflects the

trend in Bolivia of the government taking over the staffing of schools

that were formerly privately controlled. The figures cited here do not

include the number of schools run by autonomous Bolivian Protestant

churches. For example, all of the schools previously operated by the

Methodist missionaries are now the property of the newly created Methodist

Church in Bolivia.

There is no doubt that the Protestant churches' schools have had

a profound affect upon education in Bolivia. The churches; emphasis

on schools has also provided reciprocal benefits for the churches.

One Bolivian writer has expressed it well.

The Protestant schools in many cases served to
eliminate prejudices against the Protestant
churches. First, because there they practiced
religious freedom and did not demand that the
students be militant for one or another sect,
and secondly because they used the most modern
methods of education in a country having a large
percentage of illiteracy. Because of this per-
spective, their contribution was encouraged on
official levels.
That judgement was based upon the words of one
Protestant bishop, "The time has come to fortify
ourselves. To establish schools is to erect forti-
fications No church is more powerful than its
institutions of learning". (IDOC 1974:96-97)

The Protestants have not limited their educational endeavors to

traditional school programs. Many churches have offered short courses,

regularly or periodically, in literacy, mechanics, ceramics, health care,

and many other popular subjects. Work in the area of native languages

has been a major concern for several Protestant groups. Some churches

have published bilingual or trilingual hymnbooks and liturgies. The

annual conventions of the Methodists have been carried out in simultaneous

Spanish Aymara translations for many years. Other groups have concen-

trated on Aymara and Quechua versions of the Bible. CALA has done a lot

of work in the publication of materials in Aymara and Quechua as well as

conducting literacy classes in those languages.

A brief review of the educational efforts of a single church will

serve to indicate both the scope and importance of the Protestants in

this area. A look at the Methodist Church,which began its educational

work in Bolivia about 1900, will serve to illustrate this point.

Much of the Methodist work has been centered around its schools and

hospitals; the early schools in La Paz and Cochabamba have already been

mentioned. The Methodists operated the best nursing school in Bolivia

until they turned that institution over to the government a few years

ago. For over half a century though, the American Institute (Colegio

Evangelical Metodista) has been one of the most prestigious schools in

Bolivia. It now has over 3000 students in its private and public school

sections. The private school consists of kindergarten through twelfth

grade. The public school operates on the junior and senior high school

levels only. In the evenings the Institute is used as an adult education

center. The national folklore school is also located at the Institute.

The Institute's language laboratory and coliseum are used by the com-

munity at large. The Institute also supervises the operation of a primary

school in one of the Indian neighborhoods in La Paz. In addition the

Methodists operate vocational-technical institutes, student centers and

services in various cities and rural areas around the country.

Some of the Methodists'other educational programs are aimed directly

at the Aymara residents in rural areas of the altiplano. The Methodists

have a residential dormitory for high school students in Carabuco, where

they also run community development and literacy programs. There is an

emphasis on community development in several locations on the altiplano.

These programs have attempted to introduce the use of fertilizers, animal

vaccines, and modern agronomy practices. In conjunction with the normal

school at Warisata the church offers a library, student services and re-

creational facilities. The school at Ancoraimes, however, is the major

educational focus of the Methodists in this area of Bolivia.

This high school has an interesting history. Founded by the Methodists

in 1956 or 1957 as a three-year vocational school, it functioned independently

for seven years. Then for ten years it was associated in a minimal way

with the Ministry of Peasant Affairs. The community wanted a fully

academic secundaria or secondary school, so finally the school was turned

over to the Ministry of Education. The Methodists continue to own the

buildings, and they have the authority to appoint the director of the school.

They pay his support, but not the salaries of the teachers. The Methodist

representative is director for the entire school, with particular respon-

sibilities for the intermedio or middle school. A young Hispanic woman

appointed by the Ministry of Education is director of the medio or high

school grades. The Methodist director has a double appointment, one by

the Methodists and one by the government.

The Methodist-appointed director of the school informed me of the

school's programs and his hopes for its future. He said that the school

is currently on double sessions. Intermedio meets in the mornings, medio

in the afternoons. There are two sets of teachers. The director said that

more classrooms are needed. He would like to see a double curriculum

and a double degree program at the school. In addition to the academic

one, he would like to see a three-year vocational program. Before merging

with the government, this Methodist school operated as a vocational school

at the junior high (intermedio) level. The director said that it is dif-

ficult for one to go to the city without skills and succeed. He suggested

programs in carpentry, tailoring, mechanics, and nursing. The Methodists

also operate a medical center in Ancoraimes. If the director's plans

were implemented, a student could get a vocational degree and then continue

working on his or her bachillerato. The director said that too many

students have to drop out of school before completing the requirements

for the bachillerato. They need a degree and skills too.

The Protestants have not been the only religious group active in

Bolivian education. The Catholic Church has also played a large role. It

is also estimated that Jesuit organization, Fe y Alegria,teaches 10 percent

of all Bolivian school children by itself. All of these schools, however,

are located in urban or suburban areas. There are, however, some rural

schools sponsored by the Catholic Church. Like Protestant-sponsored schools

in recent years, the Fe y Alegria schools have yielded some control to the

Ministry of Education. Today the buildings are Jesuit owned, and the

directors are all Jesuits, but teachers are paid by the Ministry of Ed-

ucation. Fa y Alegria also publishes journals for teachers and organizes

short courses for their teachers.

Sometimes Fe y Alegria coordinates its efforts with the Comision

Episcopal de Educacion, which runs all the strictly private church schools

in Bolivia. They are currently running a project or contest for textbook

development. Already they have completed one for social studies. Currently

they are working on ones for language, mathematics, and natural science.

Another area of Catholic Church involvement is radio education. I

talked with a Maryknoll priest who runs three radio stations that he

founded some time ago. There is one in La Paz, one in Cochabamba, and

one in the Beni. The station in La Paz has a capacity of 9000 kilowatts

and can reach all Aymara speakers in Bolivia and Peru. It broadcasts 12

hours a day from 4:00 8:00 a.m., 12:00 noon 2:00 p.m. The rest of the

time most rural people are in the fields or asleep. Two or three other

stations in La Paz now have followed the lead of this station and do

partial Aymara programming. This priest is the only non-Aymara working

at the station in La Paz.

The station in Cochabamba recently switched from Spanish to Quechua

programming. There was a lot of concern when they switched. Advertising

fell from b$ 30,000 per month to practically nothing. Within 90 days,

merchants realized that the station was reaching a new market and ads in-

creased to over b$ 40,000 a month.

The station does social programming and the priest believes that he

can change social structures through the radio. The station has purposely

geared itself to cheap transistor radios instead of FM. The priest, how-

ever, does not know if he is achieving his desired goals. He says that

reliable feedback is impossible. He also recognizes the tenuous position

of priests in rural Bolivia.

The priest's views on the Bolivian church were interesting. He

estimates that there are about 200 Bolivian-born priests in the country;

half of Hispanic and half of Amerind ancestry. It is reasoned that few

Amerinds become priests since one is not a man unless he is married and

no one wants to remain celibate. Amerind boys are happy to go through

church schools and seminary in order to obtain an education, but then

they opt out. Some church groups are now trying to develop a married

deacon system, hoping that eventually these men will be made priests.

Ten stations located in several cities have united in an educational

radio system known as Escuelas Radiofonicas de Bolivia (ERBOL).

ERBOL is jointly funded by the Ministry of Education, the Catholic Church,

and some foreign assistance organizations. The primary objective of ERBOL

is adult literacy programs. Over 16,000 individuals were registered as

students of ERBOL programs in 1973 (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:III-11), however,

there is an extremely high drop-out rate associated with these programs.

Some 3461 students were associated with the programs of Radio Fides,

a church-supported station in La Paz (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:111-11). Courses

were offered in literacy training as well as civics, health and other

subjects. Radio Fides has centers staffed by specially trained volunteer

teachers. Students go to the centers where a teacher is present and re-

ceive instruction via the radio. Those who finish the course receive

certificates. One worker estimated, however, that out of an initial

class of maybe 40, only two or three would finish and receive a certificate.

The Catholic Church's second radio station in La Paz, Radio San

Gabriel, has recently initiated radio clubs all across the altiplano.

Currently there are 72 discussion groups of about 20 members each which

meet to discuss the free form novelas or radio dramas broadcast by this

station. These dramas are primarily written and acted by Aymara volunteers.

San Gabriel also monitors some 40 radio schools which emphasize agriculture,

public health and sanitation,family planning, and animal husbandry.

The goal of the station's leaders is "to integrate the Aymara into the

Bolivian national system".

Into this complex, multicultural Bolivian setting there has in recent

years appeared another educational element. A number of organizations have

been formed with the primary purpose of advancing the educational levels

of the Amerind campesinos in the Bolivian countryside. A few are bi-

ethnic (Quechua and Aymara) in both their structure and their focus. A

greater number, however, seem to be working mostly within the sphere of

Aymara. Some of these organizations have been initiated by Amerinds and

are run by Amerinds for the purpose of assisting Amerinds. These are

self-help programs in the most fundamental sense. These are not local

programs aimed at a single community, but regional or national programs.

There are other, apparently similar programs, sponsored by Hispanic

Bolivians, various church groups, and other non-Amerind agencies.

Among the Amerind organizations with which I am familiar, and which

often integrate their programs in the La Paz area, one is devoted exclusively

to education, while another has a grant from the Interamerican Foundation

for work in the areas of education and economic promotion. Another

organization has instituted the practice among its members of saving

small amounts to be used collectively for building markets, housing, and

eventually a private rural university. This organization has 35,000

dues paying members and has about U.S. $25,000 on deposit, which was raised

in about 18 months. They hope to use this money to build an Aymara

University on land they have already purchased. Most of the Amerind

organizations are dedicated to adult education and the publication in

Aymara of agricultural and technical materials. All of these groups are

working in the areas of literacy, teaching Amerind history, and promoting

pride in Amerind languages and cultures pride in being an Indian.

Some popular education groups emphasize short coursesor promote

consciousness-raising or awareness among Amerinds. Others are more

academically inclined, emphasizing social research and publishing. Typical

projects resulting from various popular education organizations include

the establishment of small rural libraries, the printing and distribution

of literature, the sponsorship of literacy courses in both Spanish and the

Amerind languages, radio seminars, and rural convocations on topics such

as folk medicine and artesanias.

The popular education groups should not be confused with government

agencies which are often involved in similar types of programs. For

example the Ministerio de Asuntos Campesinos regularly sponsors agricultural

extension services, including short courses on various agricultural

practices and procedures. The National Community Development Service is

also involved in this work. Universities also offer limited extension

education services in literacy training and agricultural experiment


Within the private sector, there are several educational programs in

operation. Usually small, these efforts involve the participation and

support of middle class and upper class Hispanic Bolivians. Some efforts

by these groups are aimed at rural populations. One such group is the Comite"

para el Progreso Escolar (C.P.E.).1 This organization has already been

mentioned in connection with its work in the community of Las Lomas in

Chapter I.

The C.P.E. is a small organization formed to promote education primarily

in rural areas. The organization obtains support from various sources to

aid in this work. Some of the funding comes from the American Embassy.

When embassy personnel sell at a profit cars or other personal belongings

they have imported duty free, they are supposed to turn over the margin

of profit to charitable work in Bolivia. The C.P.E. gets some of this

money. Also, the group gets money from various Bolivian businesses.

This group sponsors the school in Las Lomas described previously.

The leaders of the group are two female educators. The membership also

includes an engineer, a person who works in community development, univer-

sity students, a few female colegio students who plan to become teachers,

and a few others. Except for one of the leaders who is a foreigner, all

Comite para el Progreso Escolar is a pseudonym for this organization.

are upper-middle class Hispanic Bolivians.

No discussion of Bolivian education can be complete without mention

of the involvement of international agencies and foreign governments.

Some of this has been alluded to at various points in this chapter, but

it seems useful to attempt a brief survey of some of the more important

programs, especially those that have directly affected rural education.

The largest single foreign contributor toward Bolivian education

has been the United States. U.S. assistance and involvement in Bolivian

education dates back to the P.E.C. in the early 1940's. While early

efforts concentrated on vocational education, more recently the focus

has been an administrative reform of the Bolivian educational structures.

Official U.S. assistance to Bolivian education can
be divided into two time periods: 1944 to 1963, when
the Education Servicio was in operation, and the period
since 1963. During the first period, emphasis was on
rural and vocational training and on teacher education.
In the subsequent period, emphasis has been given to
a human resource survey, to textbook development and
to reform of educational administration. Throughout
both periods, the U.S. has assisted with school construction
and with foreign training for Bolivian teachers and
technicians in a variety of fields and under a variety
of assistance. Unofficial U.S. assistance, although
impossible to quantify, has been considerable over the
years in the form of foreign scholarships, programs
of professional interchange, and contribution by U.S.
social service groups to Bolivian private non-formal
and formal educational programs. (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:VI-1)

Much of the initial United States involvement and support was car-

ried out through SCIDE. The programs and projects of SCIDE were many and

varied, but might be grouped to include the following: teacher training,

model schools to improve instruction, agricultural experiment projects,

handicraft centers, aid in the construction of new facilities and the

provision of new equipment, and the publication and distribution of text-

books and instructional materials.

U.S. assistance to Bolivian education has not slackened since the

cessation of the SCIDE programs in 196.3.

Since 1964, the U.S. has contributed $2.2 million in
grant funds in support of educational development
programs in teacher training, curriculum and textbook
development, a human resource survey, and assistance
for the Ministry of Education's administrative reform
program. Another $2.7 million. has supported school
construction activities and $1 million from earlier
counterpart funds has been used for the repair and
construction of schools. (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:VI-4, VI-5)

It would be all but impossible to describe all of the foreign in-

fluences on Bolivian education, or even to list all of the foreign

agencies that have made direct contributions toward Bolivian education.

In an effort to indicate the scope of such operations, however, I will

mention a few of the contributors.

The United Nations, mostly through UNESCO, has contributed technical

assistance and training, as well as taking a role in educational planning

in Bolivia. UNESCO has contributed laboratories and other school equipment

to Bolivian schools.

The Organization of American States has run technical assistance and

training programs in Bolivia. In addition, since 1960 the OAS has

offered an average of 100 scholarships per year to Bolivians for training

in a variety of developmental fields (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:VI-8). The OAS

advisory teams have organized many educational programs including an in-

service program for school directors and educational supervisors (U.S.

A.I.D. 1974:VI-8).

The German government has provided an analysis of rural education

development needs, as well as technical assistance in the area of vocational

education (U.S. A.I.D. 1974:VI-9). In addition the German government

sponsors six schools in urban areas of Bolivia, and has maintained German

volunteers in Bolivia for many years. These volunteers often work in

community development and education-related activities.

The Spanish, French, and British governments have also provided as-

sistance to Bolivian education. Most of this aid has taken the form of

technical assistance and the provision of scholarships, equipment and


Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Canada have all provided assistance

for the construction of schools, and in the acquisition of equipment

and textbooks. Czechoslovakia, East Germany, the U.S.S.R., Holland and

Israel have also contributed technical assistance and training to the

Bolivian school system.


The question of intent and effectiveness of the curriculum and structures

of Bolivian schools is crucial. The traditional focus on nonacademics

in rural schools has not allowed for the movement of Indian students

into institutions of higher learning. It has continued the separation of

rural Indians and urban Hispanics.

The prejudice against the Aymara, against their language and culture,

as reflected in textbooks and the educational system as a whole has been

noted. Expressions of prejudice are not difficult to isolate. Early in

this century President Bautista Saavedra expressed the attitude that a

literate Indian population would be dangerous, and that what was really

needed was for the campesinos to become good farmers (Guillen 1919:51,

cited in Hohenstein 1971:111). This would seem to be the principle that

has guided education for the Indians since that time. Though national

integration is an avowed goal, there is no perceived value or need for the

preservation of indigenous culture.

One of the results of the attitudes of the governing Hispanic elites

toward Indians has been the continued emphasis on urban education, at the

expense of the development of rural education. Rural education in Bolivia

is still marked by a disproportionatelysmalleramount of funding than

urban education, with a lack of continuation and maintenance of rural

programs, rural materials and rural teachers. The attitude of many

professional educators would seem to be summed up by the fact that there

is no provision for local input in the rural school system. Citizens are

not consulted nor their desires considered in educational decision making.

The school system remains highly centralized, with control in the

hands of the Hispanic elites of the country. While such a highly centralized

system has the potential for rapid and widespread implementation of change,

such change has not been forthcoming.

A possible source of future change might be the popular education

groups. In addition to their activities, these organizations make a

contribution to the Amerind community merely by their presence. For the

first time, one now hears Aymara spoken in public places restaurants,

offices, the university by men in business suits carrying briefcases.

By lending dignity and acceptability to Amerind languages, these men and

these organizations are making it possible for monolingual Amerinds to

enter government bureaucracies and private offices in order to pursue

their needs and interests.

The early practice of importing educational practices and even educators

has persisted to the present. The practice of sending educational emissaries

to other countries, especially in the form of scholarship recipients,

has been continued. The direct participation of international agencies

and foreign governments in Bolivian education is still heavy.

The results have been mixed. There is no doubt that a great deal

of school construction 'has occurred, much of it financed, directly or in-

directly, by foreign sources. At the same time, Bolivia has imported

contemporary textbooks and curriculum trends which are often inappropriate

for the current situation in its rural zones. The effects of foreign

influence continue to be felt in the nation's normal schools which initially

were established by a foreigner, the Belgian Georges Rouma.

Perhaps the most deleterious effect of foreign participation in

Bolivian education has been the adoption of pedagogical models which

are incongruous with the forms of multiethnic Bolivian society. Even

the U.S. A.I.D. Mission to Bolivia has recognized this possible effect.

The lack of better results to date probably is due to
the size of the task, the discontinuity of plans and
execution on both the Bolivian and U.S. sides, and
attempts to implant foreign systems with inadequate
adaptation to Bolivian conditions and needs. It
certainly reflects major administrative and managerial
inadequacies, not only within education but also within
the central structure of Bolivian government. And,
with particular reference to the rural areas, it may
well reflect a shortage of anthropological and socio-
logical research-based knowledge, without which, it may
be inferred, existing cultural patterns have been barriers
to progress instead of assets for efforts to achieve progress.
(U.S. A.I.D. 1974:VI-6)

In general, the educational opportunities available to the Aymara

of rural Bolivia are the results of the socio-economic, political and

cultural realities of the nation. The rural schools are institutions

heavily affected by Hispanic and foreign influences and subject to extra-

community control.

Schools everywhere are designed to transmit consciously designated

segments of the socio-cultural heritage. In addition, they reflect the

social ordering found in social class and other social institutions,

and express "the cultural values and practices characteristic of these

diverse and divergent social groupings" (Kimball 1975:203). In

Bolivia, the rigid social layering and differences in language and culture

have resulted in rural schools which do not serve effectively the members

of the Aymara communities. The conflict between the largely Hispanic

schools and the Aymara can be shown by examining some of the attitudes

toward education expressed by both Hispanic and Aymara individuals.



Hispanic and Aymara views of schools and educational goals are

often in conflict. The attitudes expressed about education are reflections

of distinct Hispanic and Aymara perceptions. The cultural bases under-

lying the expressed attitudes are of primary concern, for it is through

knowledge of the points at which cultural patterns and perceptions con-

flict that the failure of the schools can be understood.

Hispanic Views of Education

Bolivia today is a nation whose official institutions and govern-

ment positions are controlled almost exclusively by non-Amerinds. While

many have immigrated to Bolivia from various parts of the world, the

dominant non-Amerind cultural heritage is Hispanic. Spanish is the of-

ficial language.

National integration is a concept difficult to define and yet

frequently employed by many Bolivians. It means different things at

different times, depending upon the context and the user of the phrase.

Some of the commonly understood elements of the concept, however, can be

outlined. National integration means uniting the various sectors -

geographic, economic and cultural which have divided Bolivia historically,

and continue to do so at the present. This is a concept employed solely

by non-Amerinds, thus the implications, whether stated or not, are that

national integration will bring modernization, urbanization, and an in-

crease in Bolivia's potential through economic development.

The importance of national integration here is the direct connection

between this concept and education. An understanding of the concept of

national integration is one prerequisite to an appreciation of current

trends in Bolivian education, and the policy decisions which affect it.

In any discussion of national integration, education usually surfaces

as an important means of achieving this goal. It is viewed commonly as a

means of incorporating marginal groups (including the rural Amerinds who

constitute a majority of Bolivia's national population) into the national

mainstream.1 Education can modernize life and agronomy in the rural areas

of Bolivia, and Julia Elena Fortun, currently Subsecretary of Culture in

the Ministry of Education, has proposed a program of "rural urbanization"


Education is important for national integration since it is believed

that development depends upon the acquisition of knowledge, from literacy

skills to advanced technology. Clearly there are other factors which have

inhibited Bolivia's development, but education may be the primary cause for


1For example see Fortun's plan for education and rural development (1973:5).

Si nos referimos al Desarrollo por sectors aun es deficiente, diremos por
ejemplo, que la oferta de alimentos basicos sigue dependiendo del Altiplano,
donde todo esfuerzo de desarrollo se ve trabado por falta de fertilidad del
suelo, las inclemencias atmosfericas, la insuficiencia del transport y de
la infraestructura de comercializacion, la limitacion de los recursos
crediticos y el analfabetismo que inhibe un crecimiento mas acelerado [em-
phasis mine].(Castrillo 1/4/75:3)

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