Group Title: highland migrant in lowland Bolivia
Title: The highland migrant in lowland Bolivia
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 Material Information
Title: The highland migrant in lowland Bolivia regional migration and the Department of Santa Cruz
Physical Description: xvi, 414 leaves : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stearman, Allyn MacLean, 1943-
Publication Date: 1976
Copyright Date: 1976
Subject: Migration, Internal -- Bolivia -- Santa Cruz (Dept.)   ( 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 405-412.
Statement of Responsibility: by Allyn Mac Lean Stearman.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098296
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000179013
oclc - 03145702
notis - AAU5527


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To Mike, Garrett and Erin--

who somehow survived it a l.


It is unreasonable to return to a place and

expect to find it unchanged. Even so, it seems part of

human nature to carry the hope that old hauntings will

appear just as they have been etched in memory. I was

well aware of all this before returning to lowland Bolivia

after a six-years' absence and so perhaps overcompensated

by convincing myself that little would be as it had been.

In fact, both situations proved to be the case. I found

many things unchanged by time: buildings were as I had

remembered them, the warm, outgoing lowlanders were still

very much in evidence, and old friends had aged somewhat

but were nevertheless the same people. But I also

encountered~many alterations in the physical and social

aspects of the Department of Santa Cruz. People were

beginning to move in large numbers to the capital of the

region, the city of Santa Cruz. New roads had been

completed, more land was under cultivation, and perhaps

most unexpectedly, numerous enclaves of highland Bolivians

were now visible throughout the lowlands.

Originally I had planned on returning to eastern

Bolivia to study the movement of highland migrants through

the agricultural colonies--where they came from and

where they were going. I was quite unprepared, however,

to find that colonization no longer was the only signif-

icant realm of migrant activity but that highlanders

were to be found in every corner of the Santa Cruz area.

It was then that I realized that I had been presented

with a very unique opportunity--that of being in a

position to investigate migration on a regional scale

and not as a small facet of a larger process. Thus I

set about the new task of discovering and reporting the

several problems of migration causality, motivations and

strategies, and the patterns and processes involved in

flows of migrants in the Department of Santa Cruz. The

results of that investigation are presented in this


My return to Bolivia in 1975 and subsequent

financial assistance during the preparation of this

dissertation were made possible by a Latin American

Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the Social Science

Research Council. I am especially grateful to Ms.

Marylou Hofmann an~d Mls. Adele Chodorow of SSRC for

their consistent support while I was in the field.

Great distances often thwart the best efforts of all,

but both of these very competent individuals always

responded forthwith to my queries and requests. Life in

eastern Bolivia would have been a great deal more

difficult without the assistance of Marylou and Adele.

Arriving in the Field

I returned to Santa Cruz not as I had first

arrived there in 1964. The recent college graduate-,

eager for adventure, footloose with few responsibilities,

out-to-save-the-world Peace Corps volunteer was now a

31-year-old married woman with two children, a mortgaged

house, and an employed husband who, as a true Economic

Man, decided at the last minute that it would be much

more rational to return to his job in Florida after

helping to get us settled in Bolivia. Thus we arrived

in Santa Cruz on Christmas Day with 300 pounds of lug-

gage, a three-year-old son and a six-week-old daughter.

As we stood in the blistering heat with two travel-weary

children waiting for a taxi, my only thought was,


We did persevere. Thanks to the efforts and

thoughtfulness of many friends, I was able to find a

suitable house to rent in the city of Santa Cruz, fur-

nish it with basic necessities, and begin a semblance of

normalcy in our lives. Adela Campos and Nelfy Ledn

contributed long hours keeping up with cooking, washing

and child care so that I would be free to do fieldwork.

Father Raymond Cowell, and old friend from the village

where I had worked as a Peace Corps volunteer provided

moral support on dark days, became a surrogate father for

my son on many occasions, and was always available for


While living in the city of Santa Cruz, I also

had the benefit of the friendship of Dr. Daniel Candia,

the Dean of the Department of Humanities at the Uni-

versidad Boliviana Gabriel RenE Moreno. He kindly

provided me with a great deal of background information

and made available office space where I could work

uninterrupted by family. I am also grateful to the

staff at Obras Pdblicas, especially Guido Ardaya and

Ulrich Reye for providing current statistical data as

well as names of persons who could contribute to my


After six months of city life, both a need to

be in closer contact with the remaining study areas and

a desire to share once again in village life prompted

me to pack up the household and relocate in San Carlos,

my old Peace Corps duty station. This change of resi-

dence would have been impossible without the assistance

of a good friend, Margarita Le~n, who found us a vacant

house to rent and also generously offered us the use of

her kerosene refrigerator during our four-month stay in

the village.

It was wonderful to return to the hinterlands

where life remained much as I had remembered it. My

family and I were warmly welcomed, and many evenings

were spent with friends and neighbors reminiscing about

old times and relating experiences and happenings which

had occurred during my six-year absence. There was a

constant stream of village children in the house, and

both of my offspring never lacked for entertainment.

My son Garrett was immediately accepted into the crowd

of Sancarle~o youth who not only offered him unfailing

companionship, but also taught him the rules of survival

in a strange and often hostile environment.

Acknowledgement is also due the village priest,

Padre Tito Solari, who provided census data which he and

his assistants had collected in the nearby Yapacani


To all those in San Carlos, then, I express my

most profound gratitude.

General Procedures

Interviews conducted in the city of Santa Cruz

along with preliminary site visits to localities throughout

the region led to the selection of five study areas. These

were chosen according to several criteria including socio-

economic diversity, both rural and urban orientations,

and importance to the current trends in migration patterns

and processes in the department. Eleven months were

spent in conducting the study, apportioned to each site

as follows: (1) the city of Santa Cruz, four months;

(2) the town of Warnes, one month; (3) the city of Montero,

two months; (4) the village of San Carlos and (5) the

agricultural colonies of Yapacanl^ and San Julia'n studied

simultaneously, four mo~nths.

The study began in the city of Santa Cruz.

Quite by accident I had rented a house in the midst of

one of the largest migrant neighborhoods in the city.

Thus participant observation of migrant life as a barrio

resident was possible. I spent an initial three weeks

driving through every residential sector of Santa Cruz,

talking to people and mapping out the areas where high-

landers were residing. Previous familiarity with the

city- shortened the chore considerably as did assistance

by friends who knew their city well. Once the location

of the migrant barrios had been ascertained, a prelimi-

nary interview guide was drawn up and tested in the field.

After revisions had been made, the guide was then used

as the basis for semi-structured interviews of migrants

living in the highland barrios of the city. This same

guide was employed throughout the study to provide for

comparability of data, with changes or additions being

made as the situation demanded.

From Santa Cruz I next began traveling back and

forth to Warnes, a farming community 30 kilometers north

of the city of Santa Cruz. Warnes provided additional

data on population movement and also contributed neces-

sary information relating to rural migrants. My first

point of attack in Warnes was the parish priest and a


small community of Mexican nuns working in the town.

This particular tactic proved useful in other areas as

well, since the town curate, if he has been a local

resident for any length of time, usually is a font of

information. The priest and nuns outlined the recent

history of settlement by highlanders in Warnes and

located the migrant neighborhoods for me on a small map

of the town. I then began interviewing barrio residents

while at the same time learning the spatial relationship

of migrant areas to the rest of the town. Working in

Warnes was relatively painless. The highlanders were for

the most part willing to be questioned, and the lowlanders

welcomed me openly--perhaps because of my obvious

Cruceiian dialect.

From Warnes I traveled another 30 kilometers

down the road to Montero, a secondary urban center.

Montero furnished an entirely new set of data and was

probably the single most important locality in providing

major keys to understanding the process of rural migration

in the department. It was an extremely difficult study

site, however. Part of the problem was in my own atti-

tude toward the city. I had never found Montero a very

attractive place nor had I found the residents to be

particularly friendly toward me. My return to Montero

did not alter any of these earlier prejudices. The

highlanders living there seemed to reflect many of the


same characteristics I had complained about with refer-

ence to the lowland populace.' They were at best indif-

~ferent to my questions and at worst quite hostile. When

I reached a point where I felt that sufficient information

had been obtained, it was with great relief~ that I began

planning for the next segment of my research, the village

of San Carlos.

Traveling back and forth from the city of Santa

Cruz to San Carlos would have meant a jaunt of more than

180 kilometers each day, an impossibility in terms of

time and expense. The latter problems along with a desire

to return to life in the country contributed to my decision

to move to San Carlos where a study of migrants in the

village could be accomplished simultaneously with that of

the colonists residing in the Yapacanf settlement. Once

again, participant observation was employed along with

use of-the interview guide which had been modified for

the new study situations.

It should be noted that all of the research sites

except for the new San Julia'n colony were known to me

because of my earlier residence in the lowlands. Thus

a comparative base of information was available from a

period when migration of highlanders to Santa Cruz was

in only an initial phase. This previous experience was

of inestimable value in assessing the changes in lowland

social patterns along with tthe causes and effects of

differential streams of migration in the region.

Preparation of the Data

The large city of Santa Cruz migrant sample was

of sufficient size and diversity to warrant computer

analysis, and I wish to thank Anne Dudasik for her assis-

tance in preparing a program to be run by the Northeast

Regional Data Center at Gainesville. She was also most

helpful in the interpretation of the results obtained

from the .computer analysis. Much of the remaining data

were tabulated with the assistance of my husband, Michael


During the .preparation of the thesis, Stephen

Dudasik devoted long and often tedious hours to critical

comment and editing of the manuscript. I would also like

to thank my chairman, Dr. William Carter, for his criti-

cal evaluation and editorial assistance.

To my mother-in-law, Leola Meyer, another debt

is owed for her contribution of having typed the first

draft. She sacrificed numerous evenings and weekends to

help me meet deadlines. I would also like to thank

typist Pat Whitehurst, who prepared the final copy of the

thesis, and graphic artists Nancy Faller and Jeff

Whitehurst for their maps and charts.

All translations in the text from Spanish to

English are my own, as are,of course, any errors, over-

sights, or omissions.



PREFACE ................... ................... ...... iii

ABSTRACT ................. ................... ....... xiv


A THEORETICAL STATEMENT ................... 1

The Myth of the Static Society ............. 4
Strategies and Decision-Making ............. 4
Patterns of Migration .. ... .. ... 12
The Search for Nomothetic Principles
of Migration .. .. . .. 23
The Regional Approach to Migration in
the Department of Santa Cruz ........... 30


DE LA SIERRA ... ............................ 75

The City ................................... 76
Settlement Zones ........................... 79
The Migrant Barrios ..... .. ... .. 86
Settlement Similarities in Highland and
Lowland Migrant Barrios ......... 91
The Highland/Lowland Settlement Dichotomy 101
The Highland Migrant in the City of
Santa Cruz ............................. 120

HARVESTING ................................. 150

Farmers and Harvesters ..................... 152
The Townspeople ............... ............ 169



The Migrants ............................... 177
Sandalia ................................... 194

THE NORTH .................................. 202

The City ................................... 203
Migrant Center of the North ................ 214
Montero's Migrant Barrio ................... 226
The Phenomenon of Multiple Resource
Migration .............................. 232
Migrants in Montero ........................ 238

LOWLAND VILLAGE ............................ 253

Socioeconomic Structure of the Lowland
Village ... . . . . . . . 257
The Migrants in San Carlos .........268
Things to Come ............................. 285


Colonization in Santa Cruz ................. 289
The Yapacant Colony ........................ 304
The Yapacant Colonists ..................... 312
The San Julian Colo'ny ...................... 326
The San Julidn Colonists ................... 334

A CONCLUDING STATEMENT ..................... 346

The Urban-Rural Dichotomy ......... 347
Motivational Factors in Migration ......350
Migrant Settlement Patterns ................ 353
Characteristics of Migrants ................ 356
Patterns of Migration in the Department
of Santa Cruz .......................... 365
The Process of Migration: Testing the
Lee Hypotheses ......................... 375
Migration and the Department of Santa Cruz:
A Flow Model .. . . .. . . . 392
The Impact of Migration on Camba Society ..399

REFERENCES CITED ................................... 405

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ 413


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



Allyn Mac Lean Stearman

August, 1976

Chairman: William E. Carter
Major Department: Anthropology

This dissertation treats the phenomenon of migra-

tion in the Department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and examines

the movement of highlanders into and within the region

in terms of strategies employed by the migrant unit to

adapt to an ever-changing socioeconomic environment.

Unlike previous studies, migration is dealt with both in

the rural and urban spheres and is presented not as a

series of individual, isolated experiences but as a system

of interrelated population streams which manifest dis-

tinctive configurations. Within each stream, numerous

strategies and types of migration emerge as mechanisms

for optimizing resources. The study also tests several

hypotheses concerning migration process and presents a

typology of migration patterns which have been discussed

in the literature but which have not been synthesized for

analysis. A new concept is introduced in this typology:

multiple resource migration. Lastly, the problems of

acculturation are explored in relation to the social

changes occurring among the migrants, as well as the

dominant lowland populations.

The Department of Santa Cruz has experienced

a long history of relative isolation from the rest of

the nation and the world. A paved highway from the

interior highlands to the lowland region was completed

in 1954, and for the first time regular communication

between the two areas was possible. Because of the

existence of vast reaches of unexploited resources in

Santa Cruz as contrasted to the economic, land and popu-

lation pressures in the highlands, the Bolivian govern-

ment launched a series of projects to persuade high-

landers to colonize the eastern territories. Although

several programs were initiated, settlement proceeded

slowly. Then, in the late 1960's, the economy of Santa

Cruz began to expand rapidly as a result of increased

investment in the agricultural and hydrocarbon sectors.

The major crops in the department, sugarcane, cotton and

rice, required a large labor force during the harvest

season, a demand which could not be met by the lowland

population. Consequently, highlanders began migrating

to Santa Cruz to fill the labor gap. The boom atmosphere

of the region also encouraged urban migrants to move to

lowland cities, resulting in major migration flows directed

from the highlands toward Santa Cruz.

The impact of large-scale migration on the

Department of Santa Cruz has been great, and the entire

character of the region is undergoing rapid change as a

consequence of this acculturative process.



The Myth of the Static Society

Population movement, or migration, is as old as

the history of humankind itself. The earliest groups of

people were transhumant followers of game and plant foods

which varied by season and locality. Although this epoch

in our cultural evolution lasted longer than any other

and remains the way of life for many of the earth's

inhabitants, it has been forgotten or ignored by those

who maintain that the sedentariness of the agriculturalist

exemplifies normative human behavior. Out of this belief

has been spawned the myth of the so-called "static society"

which, as J. A. Jackson explains,

implies by harking back to some pre-
existing rural utopia, that the natural
condition of man is sedentary, that move-
ment away from the natal place is a
deviant-activity associated with disor-
ganization and a threat to the established
harmony of Gemeinshaft relationships which
are implied by a life lived within a
fixed social framework. (Jackson 1968:3)

Thus migration from one's place of origin and even

population movement itself is viewed as a pathological

response to an untenable life situation. Granted, in a

great many instances this has been the case. The most

well-known migrants in recent history involved tens of

thousands of persons who were forced from their homes

as the result of natural disasters as well as those

created by man. The potato famine of Ireland sent boat-

loads of Irish countrymen to the shores of North America.

Both of the World Wars displaced countless individuals

and brought chaos to their lives. The "La Violencia"

era in modern Colombian history provoked a large-scale

migration of rural folk into the country's urban centers

to escape the bloody consequences of a political feud.

And in 1970, the Peruvian earthquake, perhaps the worst

natural disaster to occur in recorded history of the

western hemisphere, left nearly 500,000 persons homeless.

Many of those from the mountain hinterlands of North-

Central Peru flooded into towns and departmental capitals

to obtain food and shelter, and many have remained there

to the present day.

The magnitude of human suffering and sacrifice

characteristic of such events has led to much of the

negativistic attitude associated with migration. But

there is another side to the coin. People leave homes

and farms not only as disaster evacuees or refugees but

also as individuals with positive goals of finding better

opportunities. Many migrants view temporary or permanent

relocation as a means of expanding their access to avail-

able resources. The hunting and gathering peoples as

well as nomadic pastoralists certainly make use of migra-

tion as an adaptive mechanism for resource exploitation.

But there are sedentary peoples as well who have insti-

tutionalized certain patterns of migration. In the Andes,

for example, villages commonly send members on long

trading forays into other regions to obtain goods not

normally available in the home area. Other Andean com-

munities establish colonies in numerous ecological zones

in order to diversify access to agricultural products

(cf. Murra 1972). The myth of the static society, then,

is just that--a myth. Because a population has a history

of sedentism does not necessarily imply that movement

away from the natal place automatically incurs disorgani-

zation and disorientation among the migrant group.

Those who become migrants are often the world's

poor--the peasants of Europe, the campesinos of Latin

America and the tribal peoples of Africa and Asia. A

comment was once made at a symposium dealing with migra-

tion that it is interesting how middle-class Americans

"move" from one place to another while other individuals

in less affluent circumstances "migrate." Although the

semantic differences between these two words are slight,

the use of two discreet terms to describe one activity

is significant. While population "movement" has tended

to be viewed as a commonly occurring social process in

industrialized societies, "migration" in the Third World

is viewed as correlated with social disorganization and

discontinuity. Once again, the belief seems to exist

that movement is normal for those who are members of

highly technological societies but abnormal- for thosh

who are not. The migration of highland Bolivians into

the lowland department of Santa Cruz further dispells

this static society concept. Migrants frequently exhibit

a lifestyle which includes multiple migrations in the

highlands and lowlands. In many of these cases, migra-

tion is considered an appropriate means of expanding one's

economic resources and is not perceived in negative terms.

In this regard, Anthony Richmond has emphasized that

migration, like other forms of occupa-
tional and social mobility, has become
a functional imperative. . It
facilitates the allocation of human re-
sources in a way which is not only more
productive economically but also enables
the individual to optimize his own
material and social satisfactions by
widening a range of opportunity and
choice open to him. (Richmond 1968:245)

Strategies and Decision-Making

Whether rural or urban poor, the migrant fre-

quently has been portrayed in the tradition of Oscar

Lewis' Puerto Rican and Mexican migrant families, caught

up in the stream of a "culture of poverty" which

inexorably sweeps them uncontrollably through life (Lewis

1965)~. One is left with the impression that migrants have

very little, if any, power of self-determination. In

spite of Lewis' examples, most migratory activities in-

volve the interplay of definite motives and strategies

which affect the migrant's movement through time and

space. Prospective migrants are presented with several

alternatives for action, and some choice must be exercised

in order to determine the most advantageous of these in

terms of individual priorities and needs. This choice

is influenced to a large degree by the background and

personal attributes of the migrants. In Huaylas, Peru,

a study of pairs of brothers, one who had migrated and

one who had not, demonstrated that factors such as educa-

tional skills, independence and age determined not only

the likelihood of migration but also affected the selection

of the point of destination (Bradfield 1973).

In a similar manner, highlanders who migrate

to lowland Bolivia are presented with numerous destination

alternatives. The researcher discovered that migrant

background along with the nature of the place of origin

(whether urban or rural) had major influence on the par-

ticular migrant strategy employed. Once in the new environ-

ment, however, additional strategies came into play as

new income or settlement opportunities were presented.

Migration to the Department of Santa Cruz, for example,

may have been based on an original set of operational

plans, but once the initial move from the highlands had

been made, alternatives to permit subsequent migrations

to diversify or expand available resources became incor-

porated into these strategies. A homologous situation has

occurred in Lima, Peru, among the migrant population

arriving from the Peruvian mountain regions. Here,

migrants frequently take .up residence in the crowded

inner-city zone where they find assistance in obtaining

jobs and shelter through the activation of kinship net-

works and as the result of contacts made through regional

associations. Living in central Lima is expensive and

uncomfortable, so the migrant frequently will join an

organized group of individuals with similar problems

which stages an "invasion" of public or private land on

the outskirts of the city. In this manner a new homesite

is obtained in the barriada at relatively little.cost and

the migrant has improved his living situation signifi-

cantly (Turner 1970). It is probable that the Peruvian

serrano (highlander) left his or her place of origin

with the primary intent of migrating to the capital

city of Lima. A subsequent move out of the central slum

of Rimac represents a modification of the original

strategy and evolves out of a new set of circumstances

affecting the decision-making process. Thus migration

strategies tend to be highly flexible mechanisms for

dealing adaptively with a changing physical and social


The decision itself whether to migrate or not is

often couched in terms of the push or pull factors which

act to influence the migrant. In other words, conditions

such as economic decline, lack of job opportunities,

diminishing resources, poor or nonexistent educational

facilities and isolation may contribute to "pushing" the

migrant from the place of origin. On the other hand,

the point of destination also has certain attractions,

or "pull," such as adequate employment, better farmland,

or the activity and excitement of a large urban center.

The concepts of push and pull nevertheless are somewhat

simplistic in their approach to motivation for migration.

Everett Lee has expanded these basic tenets to include

additional factors which may influence the decision-

making process of the migrant.

Lee's scheme of motivational factors includes

(1) those associated with the area of origin, (2) those

associated with the area of destination, (3) the inter-

vening obstacles, and (4) personal factors. The first

three have been put into a schematic diagram (see page 8).

According to Lee,

in every area there are countless fac-
tors which act to hold people to it,
and there are others which tend to
repel them. These are shown in the

Origin Destination

+ O ,

fO- +

diagram as + and signs. There are
others, shown as o's, to which people
are essentially indifferent. Further-
more, between every two points there
stands a set of intervening obstacles
which may be slight in some instances
and insurmountable in others. (Lee

Kinship ties and social obligations as well as

familiarity with the physical surroundings would be plus

factors to remain in the place of origin while economic

stagnation and a sense of relative deprivation would be

classified as minus characteristics. At the destination

site, a lack of adequate housing facilities would be a

negative point whereas employment opportunities and

educational advantages would fall into the positive realm.

Some elements will have a null effect such as the presence

or absence of schools in either the place of origin or

destination when affecting a childless migrant.

The obstacles between the points of origin and

destination may be represented by such problems as distance,

road conditions, and transportation costs, which all

will influence the decision to migrate as well as dic-

tate to a certain extent the migration strategies employed.

Finally, personal factors would include those

migrant attributes such as were studied by Stillman Brad-

field in the Huaylas case to determine the nature and

characteristics of the individual who does decide to leave

the natal place.

Everett Lee's model incorporates the push-pull

aspects of migration theory but has expanded on what in

essence amounted to a somewhat restrictive model based

only on unimodal polarities. Lee has retained the posi-

tive and negative elements of the push-pull approach, but`

in addition has included in both polarities plus and minus

factors as well as those which may have no effect on migrant

motivations. Furthermore, the dimensions of intervening

obstacles as well as pe-rsonal characteristics have also

been appended to the push-pull scheme.

In analyzing migration flows into the Department

of Santa Cruz, Lee's model seems to have particular rele-

vance. For the Bolivian highlander, the lowlands present

positive incentives for relocation as well as negative

aspects which inhibit it. Likewise, the entire highland

area of Bolivia is experiencing grave economic problems

which act as negative factors affecting continued resi-

dence in small rural communities as well as in the urban

areas. At the same time, the Bolivian interior is the

center of highland tradition and culture and contains

all that is cherished and dear to the mountain inhabitant--

a strong plus to remain. The intervening obstacles of

distance, roads and transportation expense have also had

an impact on the differential regional flows of migrants

and on highlander settlement patterns throughout the

lowlands. Personal factors such as the nature of the

Bolivian migrant's place of origin, concomitant skills

acquired there and the perception of self have all con-

tributed to the employment of particular strategies in

movement from one locality to another.

Single factor explanations of migratory behavior,

especially those related to economics, commonly are re-

ported as primary incentives for relocation. While per-

ceived deprivation and economic instability at the place

of departure and/or expected opportunities at the destina-

tion locality frequently play a major role in migration

decision-making, other factors have been shown to act in

concert with those of economic origin. As described above,

social and psychological components, often somewhat more

difficult to identify, will also enter into motivational

behavior. Stoltman and Ball, in a study of rural-urban

migration in Mexico, have stated

The decision to migrate from one loca-
tion to another certainly represents a
complex of variable impulses in an

inferential probabil ity framework.
Migration is predicated upon the
analysis of data available to an in-
dividual in projecting or predicting
his relative well-being (economically,
socially, psychologically, etc.) in
a new place. (Stoltman and Ball

Unfortunately, the above authors have not con-

sidered the same factors as they affect the individual

in his evaluation of the point of departure as well.

Wilkie, however, has generalized motivational problems

to include both polarities, and again stresses the neces-

sary inclusion of other than economic incentives in

migration motivational analysis.

The economic component, while important,
was found [in Argentina] to be less con-
trolling as a factor in the migration
process than many social scientists have
normally recognized. The economic fac-
tor helps condition the need to migrate,
but whether the final decision to migrate
is made or not reverts in most cases to
the psychological, social, spatial and
environmental perceptions and attitudes
within the family unit. (Wilkie 1968:
109) (emphasis supplied)

Finally, J. Beaujeu-Garnier in commenting about

the emphasis on economic motivations in the decision to

migrate notes

It seems, however, difficult to accept
such a categorical assertion, for psycho-
logical factors play a considerable and
often vital part, and in any case, even
in a decision urged by precise economic
facts, one finds also some other aspects,
of which the subject was perhaps barely
conscious, but which played its part in
the final moment of choi~ce. (Beaujeu-
Garnier 1966:212)

Patterns of Migration

The process of migration may be analyzed in terms

of its range of possible dimensions based on factors such

as degree of temporality, direction of flow, time sequence,

and the nature of the departure and arrival points. Thus

an initial typology of migration patterns would include

1. Single-phase migration

2. Temporary or seasonal migration

3. Step migration

4. Sequential migration

5. Chain migration

6. Multiple resource migration

In each case, the nature of the place of origin and

the place of destination will be articulated with the

migration pattern. The categories "rural" and "urban"

in their four combinations commonly are used as origin

and destination descriptors. A single-phase migration,

for example, might entail a rural-urban move, an urban-

rural move, a rural-rural move, or an urban-urban move.

It is also important to note that each migration pattern

is not mutually exclusive. Seasonal migration could in-

clude step and chain migration strategies as well. This

latter case might be exemplified by the migrant unit

(i. e., an individual, family, or group) which leaves

the place of origin on a seasonal basis, but each season

the migrants choose points of destination which progres-

sively are closer to either the rural or urban end of

the -flow direction continuum. Other individuals might

be encouraged by the migrant unit to make the trip as

well, thereby contributing to the process of chain migra-

Scott Whiteford and Richard N. Adams (1973) have

described a somewhat similar situation among Bolivian

migrants working in Argentina. Several seasonal migra-

tions are made from Bolivia each year by the migrant unit,

usually in conjunction with a progression toward more

urban involvement. At some point the decision is made to

remain in Argentina, family members may be sent for, and

the process of working toward stable urban Argentine

residence commences. According to Whiteford and Adams,

In most cases, the rural-urban prole-
tariat experience is transitory, aban-
do-ning work in the zafra [sugarcane
harvest] and either joining the urban
proletariat or becoming a self-employed
urbanite. This decision is usually not
made until the migrant and his family
feel they are established in the urban
environment. (Whiteford and Adams 1973:

Although temporary migration has been included

in the typology of migration patterns, the category

"permanent migration" has not. Permanent migration is

a contradiction in terms and is as ludicrous as the sign

advertising "permanent mobile homes." Migration implies

movement, not stability. Permanent residence may occur

as the result or purpose of migration but cannot properly

be considered as pertaining to the actual migration pro-

cess. In the next several pages, each of the six migra-

tion patterns will be defined and discussed in relation

to its relevance to current trends in population movement.

1. Single Phase Migration is defined as the movement
of the migratory unit from the place of origin to
the place of destination in a single operation.

A great many contemporary as well as historical

migration studies encompass this type of movement. The

most prevalent today, of course, is the rural-urban migra-

tion phenomenon occurring throughout the world.

John C. Caldwell (1969), in a report on rural-

urban migration in Ghana, concentrated on single-phase

migration from rural hamlets to the country's urban

centers. Caldwell's analysis included information

gathered from a survey of rural persons intending to

migrate as well as from a similar sample of the more

commonly studied de facto urban migrants. In Peru,

Mangin (1967) reported that three-quarters of the popu-

lation of a Lima migrant neighborhood selected for study

had followed the pattern of moving directly from the

place of origin to the coastal primate city.

The occurrence of urban-rural, single-phase

migration has been cited much less frequently than its

rural-urban counterpart. One such case, however, has been

described by Morton D. Winsberg (1968, 1969). As the

result of increasing anti-Semitic activities in eastern

Europe, Jewish organizations and philanthropists arranged

for the purchase of farmland in a sparsely-settled area

of Argentina. The site would serve as a refuge for

European Jews fleeing religious and political persecution.

Several agricultural colonies were established including

the one studied by Winsberg, Entre Rios. The majority

of the European Jews who arrived in Entre Rios came

directly from urban ghetto situations. Because the

colonies existed in a marginal environment, out-migration

to the Argentine cities was common. According to Winsberg,

most colonists never developed a strong
attachment to rural life, and many re-
tained urban skills acquired in Europe.
In addition, most had more affluent
relatives or friends in the cities who
were willing to help them establish
themselves if they chose to move there.
(Winsberg 1968:427)
It is interesting that the urbanite often seems to find

adjustment to the rural milieu extremely incompatible

with a previous lifestyle, while the rural-urban migrant

is seeking to alter old patterns to conform to the urban

way of life. It might be hypothesized, then, that "reverse"

adaptation generally is more difficult and less desirable

for the urban dweller than it is for the rural inhabitant.

This would also seem to be in keeping with the

Whiteford-Adams proposition that "migrants seek situa-

tions that permit participation in higher degrees of

organization as circumstances permit" (Whiteford and

Adams 1973:1).

2. Temporary or Seasonal Nigration is defined as move-
ment by the migratory unit from the place of origin
to the destination with the intent that residence
will be transitory.

Young individuals commonly migrate with the idea

that relocation is only a trial period. Because these

persons often have little to risk, migration is viewed
more as an adventure than as a definitive commitment.

If success in the form of employment and shelter is

achieved, the temporary migration strategy may evolve

into one which includes permanent residence as a possible

alternative. Other types of temporary migration may occur

as the result of duty in the armed services, visiting, or

satisfying educational needs.

If temporary migration is tied to a specific

time sequence or cycle, it is then said to be seasonal.

The greatest incidence of seasonal migration occurs in

conjunction with crop harvests which require large amounts

of short-term labor. In this case, the migrants' movements

are ruled by the demands of an external time schedule.

In discussing migration patterns in Guatemala, Bryan

Roberts states

Though Indians are likely to migrate
to supplement their subsistence agri-
culture, their migration is likely to
be short-term and circulatory, involving
return to their home village. This is,
in fact, one outstanding trait of Guate-
mala's internal migrations. Indian
migrations are usually for a period of
three to four months when workers leave
for the coffee or other cash-crop har-
vests on the coast and return to culti-
vate their land for the rest of the
year.- (Roberts 1973:61)

Seasonal migration also may depend upon internal

schedules, whereby the migrant determines the proper time

to leave the place of origin. For example, fallow seasons

or slack periods on a family farm may become satisfactory

interim to migrate to another rural area or even to an

urban center in search of temporary wage labor. In some

areas, external and internal demands on the migrants'

time do not conflict, so that the fallow period in the

place of origin coincides with the harvest season at the

place of destination. Much of the seasonal migration

occurring in eastern Bolivia operates in this manner.

The commercial crops of sugarcane and cotton are harvested

in the lowlands during the dry season when fields lay

fallow in the highlands.

3. Step Migration is defined as the progressive movement
by the migratory unit toward a specified settlement

Step migration frequently is associated with

rural-urban movement, not necessarily out of any innate

compatibility of the two, but simply because the rural-

urban flow presently is predominant in most areas. In

rural-urban step migration the migrant often seeks inter-

mediate "steps" along the rural-urban continuum which

afford a gradual adjustment to the urban environment.

From the rural homestead, the migratory unit may progress

to a nearby town or provincial capital. Finally, a move

to a large metropolitan area climaxes the process. Rural-

urban step migration has been described by researchers

such as Whiteford (1972), Ghersi and Dobyns (1963),

Orellana (1973) and Pool (1968).

Step migration nevertheless may also involve

movement from the urban end of the continuum to the

rural, or from a less rural place to one which is per-

ceived as even more remote. Perhaps the best-known

examples of rural-rural step migration involve the open-

ing of frontier lands and/or colonies. Road access-

ibility to new agricultural areas often encourages step-

migration or the progressive movement by migrants into

wilderness areas through the acquisition of land in

stages along the route. Individual risk-taking is re-

duced in that migrants are gradually introduced to a

new social and natural environment and at the same time

do not experience a sudden separation from supportative

networks. Settlement of certain frontier areas of Bolivia

(Cusack 1967; Henkel 1971), Venezuela and Colombia

(Crist and Nissley 1973), and Brazil (Margolis 1973)

was accomplished in this manner.

Step migration may in addition involve economic

progression in terms of monetary gain and greater prestige.

Many North American families become locked into a two-year

moving cycle in which the male spouse, often engaged in

corporate enterprise, is transferred from one locality
to another in order to accrue promotions and concomitant

salary increases. A member of the military also may be

involved in step migration. In this instance the steps

from one duty station to another may bring advancement

in rank along with rising income increments. In many

societies today, upward mobility may imply spatial mobility

as well.

4. Sequential Migration occurs when the migratory unit
moves from one locality to another, but not in a
geographic, economic, or status step progression.

Among the industrialized nations, horizontal

mobility of the working classes is contributing to the

formation of a~migrant group which Anthony Richmond terms

the "transilient type."

That is to say, they are part of a
highly mobile and skilled labor force
ready to move from one urban industrial
center to another, wherever their par-
ticular education and occupational skills
are in demand, irrespective of political
or cultural boundaries. (Richmond

The phenomenon of migrating from city to city

or even from rural hamlet to rural hamlet has been en-

countered in nonindustrialized nations as well. In the

Bolivian case, inter-urban migration is a common occur-

rence and may be attributed in great part to economic

pressures and employment instability. Reported cases

of interrural migration, however, are relatively rare.

Stephen Brush, in his paper, "Peru's Invisible Migrants:

A Case Study of Inter-Andean Migration" (Brush 1974),

alludes to the existence of this process among the Andean

rural villages, haciendas, and indigenous communities.

Brush ascribes interrural migration in two Andean areas

to regional economic differences. As will be discussed

in later chapters of the present study, sequential move-

ment from one rural situation to another is prevalent

in lowland Bolivia and may be viewed as a direct conse-

quence of the demands of shifting agriculture.

5. Chain Migration occurs when the migratory unit
and/or other communication networks become direct
or indirect instruments in influencing the migra-
tion of additional individuals.

Unless it is the result of some natural or social

catastrophe which creates a population of sudden evacuees,

migration normally builds gradually to a crescendo over

a period of time. Although one may speak abstractly of

population flows and waves, a major factor influencing

these rates and volumes of migration is the individual.

Someone must make the initial move to start the momentum.

If this hypothetical argonaut (more probably a number of

them) attains relative success in the new surroundings,

a beachhead has been established and the way is cleared

for additional migration.

Chain migration may occur as the result of first-

hand contact with the migrants themselves, either through

return trips by the latter to the place of origin or

through visits by family and friends to the migrants'

place of destination. Chain migration may also occur

as the consequence of a secondary flow of information

whereby news of the migrants' exploits and attainments

reaches the point of origin by means of informal communica-

tion networks. More formal networks may play an important

role in chain migration, such as the effect of radio,

newspapers, and television in precipitating population

movement. The news media are often inadvertent seducers

of rural folk who, by their almost daily exposure to

commercial propaganda extolling the virtues of innumer-

able goods and services available in the city, are made

aware of the popularized benefits of urban life. In the

case of Peru, Doughty reports

There are many small town [radio]
stations but most of these can scarcely
be heard a few blocks from their trans-
mitters. Instead, several very power;
ful stations in Lima serve the country

at large. The national government runs
its own strong station, and recently, has
moved to acquire considerable control
over all other stations. It is neverthe-
less, difficult to estimate just what the
impact of radio is, especially in rural
areas, but we assume it is significant
in whetting the appetites of people for
things they do not have. In this sense,
the radio is an urban tool, an instrument
in provoking the potential migrant.
(Doughty 1972:38)

6. Multiple Resource Migration occurs when the migrant
unit establishes colonies, or archipelagos, in two
or more areas for the purpose of simultaneously
exploiting different environmental or economic niches.

To the researcher's knowledge, this final category

of migration pattern has not appeared previously in the

literature. John Murra (1972) discusses a precedent to

multiple resource migration in his study of vertical

archipelagos in the Andes. He does not, however, relate

his findings to migration patterns per se, but to the

concept of zonal ecological adaptive strategies. Since

the phenomenon of multiple resource migration will be

explained in a later chapter, a brief account of this

pattern will suffice for the present. In Santa Cruz,

many rural migrants are engaging in multiple moves but

are not abandoning the previous settlement sites.

Instead, properties are acquired and maintained by the

migrant unit for the purpose of exploiting simultaneously

several economic niches. This particular pattern offers

the migrant greater diversity, and therefore, security of

capital resources.

The Search for Nomothetic Principles of Migration

If one were to cite the most pervasive character-

istic of migration studies, it would have to be that they

are primarily descriptive in nature. Although social

scientists may discuss at length specific patterns and

processes of population movement, very few have attempted

to formulate a set of general principles concerning the

act of migration or to test those which have been gen-


Perhaps the first to endeavor to place migration

process in a theoretical framework was E. G. Ravenstein

in a paper presented to the Royal Statistical Society

of Great Britain on March 17, 1885 (Ravenstein 1885).

Based on data from the British census of 1881, the paper

was entitled "Laws of Migration." A subsequent study

under the same title was completed by Ravenstein in 1889

in which he included data from more than 20 nations

(Ravenstein 1889). Ravenstein's Laws of Migration, taken

from both the 1885 and 1889 treatises, are summarized


(1) Migration and distance:

(a) The great body of our migrants
only proceed a short distance,
migrants enumerated in a certain
center of absorption will..
grow less (as distance from the
center increases).

(b) Migrants proceeding long dis-
tances generally go by pref-
erence to one of the great cen-
ters of commerce and industry.

(2) Migration by stages:

(a) There takes place consequently
a universal shifting or displace-
ment of the population, which
produces "currents of migration,"
setting in the direction of the
great centers of commerce and
industry which absorb the migrants.

(b) The inhabitants of the country
immediately surrounding a town
of rapid growth flock into it,
the gaps thus left in the rural
population are filled up by
migrants from more remote dis-
tricts,. until the attractive
force of one of our rapidly
growing cities makes its influ-
ence felt, step by step, to the
most remote corner of the kingdom.

(c) The process of dispersion is the
inverse of that of absorption, and
exhibits similar features.

(3) Stream and Counterstream:

Each main current of migration produces
a compensating countercurrent.

(4) Urban-rural differences in propensity
to migrate:

The natives of towns are less migratory
than those of the rural parts of the

(5) Predominance of females among short-
distance migrants:

Females appear to predominate among
short-journey migrants.

(6) Technology and Migration:

Does migration increase? I believe so!
Wherever I was able to make a comparison
I found that an increase in the means
of locomotion and a development of manu-
factures and commerce have led to an in-
crease of migration.

(7) Dominance of the economic motive:

Bad or oppressive laws, heavy taxation,
an unattractive climate, uncongenial
social surroundings, and even compul-
sion (slave trade, transportation), all
have produced and are still producing
currents of migration, but none of
these currents can compare in volume
with that which arises from the desire
inherent in most men to "better" them-
selves in material respects.
(From Lee 1968:283)

In spite of the obvious errors, overstatements,

and omissions in Ravenstein's "Laws," they remained until

the mid-20th century the sole contribution to the search

for nomothetic principles of migration. The late 19th

and early 20th centuries witnessed the emergence of a

group of social scientists who eschewed all attempts

at general theory-building. These individuals repre-

sented a backlash to the prevailing concepts of "social

Darwinism" which had permeated the scientific community

as a result of the impact of evolutionary theory. In

anthropology,the trend away from the formulation of

"grand schemes" was led by Franz Boas who assiduously

avoided theoretical generalizations regarding cultural

phenomena. Boas became known instead for his prolific .

collecting of field data, and together with many of his

students, was labeled an "historical particularist."

Marvin Harris has stated

it is true that the strategy of his-
torical particularism required an
almost total suspension of the normal
dialectic between fact and theory.
The causal processes, the trends, the
long-range parallels were buried by an
avalanche of negative cases. (Harris

This aversion of theory-building extended to other

disciplines as well, prompting Rupert B. Vance, president

of the Population Association of America, to publish an

article entitled "Is Theory for Demographers?" in which

as late as 1953 he decries the detrimental effects of

the pervasive fear of generating a body of theoretical


During the 1930's and 40's, several significant

migration studies were conducted in which some preliminary

theoretical constructs were advanced, but these propo-

sitions were not universally valid because of a very

circumscribed data base. Thus, just as is still prevalent

today, these theories were restricted to a particular

.location, certain types of migration patterns, rates of

flow, distance differentials, or motivational factors.

A particularly good example of this approach is to be

found in a paper by J. Oscar Alers and Richard Applebaum

in which 100 "migration propositions" specifically related

to the Peruvian case are enumerated and discussed. Al-

though these propositions are a definite contribution

to the theory of migration process as it pertains to

Peru, no attempt has been made to organize them into a

general, and therefore universally applicable, set of

premises. For example, the first Alers and Applebaum

proposition states

Migrants in Peru tend to move toward
zones with characteristics generally
similar to those which they abandon;
those from semi-urban and urban zones
to urban zones; those from rural zones
to rural or semi-urban; and those from
hacienda to hacienda. (Alers and
Applebaum 1968:2)

The above proposition might be restated as a

more general hypothesis such as, When circumstances

permit, migrants tend to choose points of destination

which bear a structural resemblance to the point of ori-

gin. Stated in this manner, the hypothesis may then

be tested in other migration arenas. Many of the re-

maining 99 are of equally general importance to merit

testing in other situations.

Perhaps the most recent contribution to nomo-

thetic principles of migration has been that of Everett

Lee whose bi-modal analysis of motivational factors was

presented in the opening pages of this chapter. Building

on this preliminary model, Lee has postulated several

hypotheses dealing with the overall process of migration.

Everett Lee explains that

This conceptualization of migration as
involving a set of factors at origin
and destination, a set of intervening
obstacles, and a series of personal
factors is a simple one which may per-
haps be accepted as self-evident. It
is now argued that, simple though it
is, it provides a framework for much
of what we know about migration and
indicates a number of fields for inves-
tigation. It is used below to formulate
a series of hypotheses about the volume
of migration under varying conditions,
the development of stream and counter-
stream, and the characteristics of

Volume of Migration

(1) The volume of migration within a
given territory varies with the
degree of diversity of areas in-
cluded in that territory.

(2) The volume of migration varies with
the diversity of people.

(3) The volume of migration is related
to the difficulty of surmounting
the intervening .obstacles.

(4) The volume of migration varies with
fluctuations in the economy.

(5) Unless severe checks are imposed,
both volume and rate of migration
tend to increase with time.

(6) The volume and rate of migration
vary with the state of progress
in a country or area.

Stream and Counterstream

(1) Migration tends to take place largely
within well defined streams.

(2) For every major stream, a counter-
stream develops.

(3) The efficiency of the stream (ratio
of stream to counterstream or the
net redistribution of population
effected by the opposite flows) is
high if the major factors in the
development of a migration stream
were minus factors at origin.

(4) The efficiency of stream and counter-
stream tends to be low if origin and
destination are similar.

(5) The efficiency of migration streams
will be high if the intervening
obstacles are great.

(6) The efficiency of a migration stream
varies with economic conditions,
being high in prosperous times and
low in times of depression.

Characteristics of Migrants

(1) Migration is selective.

(2) Migrants responding primarily to plus
factors at destination tend to be
positively selected.

(3) Migrants responding primarily to
minus factors at origin tend to be
negatively selected; or, where the
minus factors are overwhelming to
entire population groups, they may
not be selected at all.

(4) Taking all migrants together, selec-
tion tends to be bi-modal.

(5) The degree of positive selection in-
creases with the difficulty of the
intervening obstacles.

(6) The heightened propensity to migrate
at certain stages of the life-cycle
is important in the selection of

(7) The characteristics of migrants tend
to be intermediate between the char-
acteristics of the population at ori-
gin and the population at destination.
(Lee 1968:288-296)

Everett Lee's theoretical framework offers an

analytical point of departure for the present study of

current trends in highland-lowland Bolivian patterns and

processes of migration. Although the Lee model is by no

means totally inclusive in scope, it appears to be the

most recent comprehensive formulation of general principles

of migration. The Lee schemes of bi-model polarities and

processural factors in migration therefore offer at least

a minimum apparatus for the analytical organization of

the Santa Cruz data. In conjunction with the testing of

Lee's hypotheses, however, the information gathered in

the lowland region will be discussed in relation to rele-

vant propositions from the Peruvian material of Alers

and Applebaum. An additional point .of articulation for

the lowland Bolivian data will be that of specific migra-

tion patterns or the typology outlined in the previous

section. Finally, the researcher will present a model

of Santa Cruz migrational flow patterns on a regional

scale, the importance of which will be discussed next.

The Regional Approach to Migration
in the Department of Santa Cruz

The great majority of literature dealing with

migration has tended to concentrate on a single aspect

in population flow from one point on the rural-urban

continuum to another, on particular migrant characteristics,

or on migration trends as they affect a certain urban

or rural locality. Moreover, there is a division between

rural-oriented studies and those of an urban nature

which have been maintained consistently in the presenta-

tion of material pertaining to migration. An entire

body of literature exists which deals specifically with

problems of migration and urbanization. Another such

collection must be consulted in order to enter the realm

of interrural population movement. Many investigators

have combined either their urban or rural preference for

investigation with the selection of a single study site

such as Lima (Mangin 1970), Rio de Janeiro (Bonilla 1961),

the Chapare colonization project of Bolivia (Henkel 1971),

or the Jewish agricultural settlements at Entre Rios,

Argentina (Winsberg 1968; 1969).

Although each of these forays into the field

of migration has contributed substantially to a general

understanding of population flow, they may be presenting

a limited view of the migratory processes developing

within a wider context. Even more importantly, they may

leave an erroneous impression that migration to a desig-

nated locality or from one settlement situation to another

(i. e., rural-urban) is the only significant incidence

of migration occurring in a given territory or nation-

state. This problem of distortion is greatly magnified

in areas where a classic primate city is attracting

substantial numbers of rural-urban' migrants. In Peru,

Stephen Brush set out to attack the voluminous research

preoccupied with rural-urban migration to Lima by investi-

gating the phenomenon of inter-Andean rural migration.

The extent of this migration . be-
lies two former images: (1) that the
relationships between the various social
units of the Andean region are generally
confined to economic (trade) and insti-
tutional (political-administrative) levels;
and (2) that the only significant migration
which concerned the Andean area was emigra-
tion to the coast. (Brush 1974:1) (empha-
sis supplied)

Brush's study opens .for consideration another

aspect of migration within the Peruvian nation, but it

remains as one more isolated instance of population move-

ment which cannot contribute to an overall conceptualiza-

tion of migratory flow patterns. The questions remain

as to what processes, patterns, and strategies of migra-

tion are at work within both the rural and urban sectors

of a territory which has become an arena for internal

migration, and how do these elements function as an

integrated system?

The Department of Santa Cruz in lowland Bolivia

offers an ideal opportunity to pursue answers to these

important questions. It is the recipient of increasing

numbers of highland migrants and,to a lesser degree, of

foreign immigrants. Most significantly, Santa Cruz

offers both urban and rural settings as points of desti-

nation where the migrant may be studied.

The Department of Santa Cruz is large in area,

but the majority of the population is centered in what

is known as the northern Santa Cruz region, an inverted

triangle of land occupying an alluvial plain.

Five study sites in this area were chosen for the

research project. On the extreme urban end of the con-

tinuum is the primate city of Santa Cruz, the departmental

capital. On the opposing end are the agricultural colo-

nies represented by the settlement areas of the Yapacant

and San Julidn. Three intermediate sites were also in-

vestigated because of their importance to migration flows

within the department and because of their differing social

and economic compositions which generated distinctive

adaptive strategies. These three are Montero, a secondary

service center, Warne~s, a town tied economically and

socially to commercial agriculture, and San Carlos, a

village based on semisubsistence horticulture.

Each of these sites was studied separately and

provided a link in the chain of information out of which

eventually emerged a well-defined model of population

movement into, out of, as well as within the department.

The order in which each locality was investigated followed

a spatial progression outward from the city of Santa Cruz.

Since there was only one road north into t~he area of

highest migrant concentration, this route to a large

extent determined the order in which the sites were studied.

Except in two instances, the relative spatial disposition

of each locality coincided with appropriate points along

an urban-rural continuum. An ordering by this latter

criterion would be Santa Cruz, Montero, Warnes, San

Carlos, Yapacanf/San Julidn. By following the road,

the actual sequence emerged as Santa Cruz, Warnes,

Montero, San Carlos, Yapacanf/San Julidn.

Because many of the data obtained in each site

are directly related to the particular sequencing of

the research target areas, the order in which the study

was conducted has been maintained as the basis for organi-

zation of the dissertation.

The following segment of the research report,

Chapter Two, is an introduction to the settlement and

economic development of the Department of Santa Cruz

and -its peculiar place in Bolivian history. Chapters

Three through Seven each deal with one population center.

In these chapters, specific data regarding local migrant

settlement patterns, migration processes, strategies and

motivations, and characteristics of migrants will be

discussed. In the closing statement, Chapter Eight,

the information obtained from all five study areas will

be synthesized and analyzed, and the resulting data will

be tested against the theoretical precepts and hypotheses

described in the body of the present chapter. Finally,

a descriptive model of the structure, process, and


integrative nature of current migration trends in the

Department of Santa Cruz will be developed and discussed

in terms of the general patterns and principles of migra-

tion presented in this chapter.



The migration of highland Bolivians into the

Santa Cruz region is by no means a recent phenomenon.

Nevertheless, it only has been during the last twenty

years or so that population movement into the lowlands

has reached large-scale proportions. Many factors have

contributed to this migration trend and to its impact

on lowland society. A significant influence on patterns

and processes of migration in the department has been

the curious history and geography of the region.

In area, though not in population, the Department

of Santa Cruz is the largest of Bolivia's nine political

divisions. The Cruceian inhabitants not only are few

in number, but have existed in a condition of almost

total isolation. The first and only all-weather road

linking the populous highland centers of Bolivia and

the rest of the world to this lowland province was not

completed until 1954. This is the 500-kilometer Santa

Cruz-Cochabamba highway which has far from subdued the

treacherous mountains it must cross. The route to the

lowlands begins in the city of Cochabamba which rests

Ioo AREA = 370.681 KM2

/ BENI --s


o-es '\ .,.-


ia- fTRIJAh

Figure 1. Map of Bolivia

in a teacup valley at an elevation of 2,000 meters. From

there it winds up through the mountains, clings perilously

to the cliff walls overhanging a rocky river bed, and

finally reaches the 3,000-meter-high cloud forest known

popularly as "Siberia." Here the asphalt gives way to

gravel, the roadbed having deteriorated from the constant

fog and drizzle. Vehicles slow to a crawl as they feel

their way along the narrow track lined with towering tree

ferns and a tangle of tropical vegetation. It is an eerie,

ethereal land, and travelers are glad at last to leave

the swirls of mist to start the descent to the lowlands.

The edge of the highway is dotted with the small,

white wooden crosses of those travelers who failed to

negotiate a curve, or lost their brakes, or made the

trip while too tired or drunk. Every so often a ragged

scar appears in the rocky wall beside the road where a

recent slide came crashing down to cut off traffic until

a bulldozer could be brought in to clear the way. The

descent is abrupt, the road a series of hairpin curves

and switchbacks. Driving it is a relentless chore, but

for those who just ride, the scenery is spectacular.

Small farms appear wherever there is any hope of clearing

away enough rock to free the scant topsoil for cultiva-

tion. Scattered along the river are grist mills always

accompanied by a few women washing clothes in nearby pools.

Throughout it all there are the mountains, the ever-present

mountains, the eastern-most slopes of the Andes. Until

they almost reach the lowland plain they are great slabs

of rough-hewn rock, new mountains in terms of geological

time which have yet to be torn down by cons of erosion.

The mountains end suddenly at about 400 meters'

elevation, and the road spills out onto the plains. The

final 50 kilometers are a long, smooth ribbon crossing

farmlands and cattle reaches until the highway reaches

its destination, the lowland capital, the city of Santa

Cruz de la Sierra. Now the distinctive Crucen'an country-

side is eviden-t. The houses no longer are built of adobe

blocks roofed with straw but are mud and wattle with a

thatch of palm. Everything is green and lush, in sharp

contrast to the arid and barren altiplano or even the

Cochabamba Valley which is patchworked green only where

water is available.

Cleared fields and pasture lands near the city

of Santa Cruz are interrupted by the many varieties of

palm which in earlier times were the mainstay of the

lowland inhabitants. The tall, stately chonta not only

provides an excellent wood for building and decoration

(the airport in La Paz is adorned with this lowland hard-

wood), but also produces a nutritious fruit which when

boiled has a flavor and consistency not unlike potatoes.

The massive motacdj, perhaps the most sacred of lowland

palms, is used to roof the peasant houses, or pauhuichis,

its tender center shoot, t'he cogollo, is woven into bas-

kets, hats, and sleeping mats. The heart of the motaco'

is extracted with an axe and boiled to make palm-heart

salad, a feastday food. On Palm Sunday it is the motact

frond which is brought to church by villagers and city-

dwellers alike to be blessed by the parish priest.

Another palm is the thorny total which is pictured on

the coat of arms of the Department of Santa Cruz. It,

too, has an edible and tasty fruit; but for the children

of the countryside the totaf has additional importance.

The totafces, as the fruit is called, are perfectly

spherical in shape and are about the size of large

marbles. Young boys collect pockets full to have a

ready supply of ammunition for their slingshots.

The Department of Santa Cruz is marked by a

diverse landscape. To the south the great desert of the

Gran Chaco dominates the region. Population is sparse

here and tends to be clustered along the recently com-

pleted 540-kilometer railroad linking the city of Santa

Cruz with Argentina. The northern reaches of the depart-

ment begin to merge into the grassy flood plain of the

Beni and are broken only by large stands of tropical

forest. To the east lies the Brazilian Shield, a hilly

country of plains and forest, also sparsely populated,

traversed by the Santa Cruz-Brazil railroad completed

earlier in 1955. It is the wide alluvial fan, captured

in the basin formed by the Andean block to the west and

the Brazilian Shield to the east, which has offered the

greatest opportunity for successful settlement. The

city of Santa Cruz was located, or rather relocated, in

this~ area and it is where 70 per cent of the department's

580,000 inhabits reside (Reye 1974). The terrain varies

from flat plains to gently rolling subtropical forest to

dense jungle. It is a beautiful land characterized by

clear blue skies and great mounds of white clouds. Wide,

meandering rivers criss-cross the region, moving slowly

northward, converging into larger and more powerful

streams until they reach the Amazon and are carried out

to sea. At dusk large flocks of parrots shriek noisily

across the sky in search of a place of safety to pass

the night. The great packs of wild pigs, the agouti,

the peccary, the tapir, and the jaguar are all but gone

now, hunted out of existence for their meat and hides.

Those animals which escaped retreated farther into the

wilderness but they too are being pursued to extinction

by the persistent hunter.

As one moves north from the city of Santa Cruz

the landscape changes from sandy, grassy pampas to large

expanses of cotton and sugarcane. Farther north the

terrain becomes more heavily forested, and rice and banana

fields begin to dominate the countryside. There is a

paved road from the city north, extending 60 kilometers

to the smaller city of Montero where it splits, one

branch heading west to the Yapacani River and the other

east to the Rfo Grande. Within this triangle are located

most of the department's inhabitants, its major commercial

centers, and the most productive agricultural lands.

The climate is generally warm and humid with a

well-defined dry season beginning about May and terminat-

ing in September. The heaviest rains fall during the months

of December, January, and February. Thus crops are

usually planted in October and November with the hope

that the rainy season will arrive on schedule and be ade-

quate to assure a good harvest. Only the cold winter winds

interrupt the warm days and mild nights. Several times a

year, normally during the months of June, July, and August,

the cold Antarctic surazos blow unhampered through the

Argentine pampas into the Santa Cruz plain where they

are stalled by the Andes and dissipated. Once the pre-

vailing winds shift from north to south the temperature

can drop 20 degrees in a matter of hours. In 1975, tem-

peratures of -4 degrees centigrade were recorded on three

consecutive days during the midwinter month of July.

The Cruce'ians are ill-prepared for these abrupt climatic

shifts in terms of both clothing and housing. They

must simply weather the surazo as best they can, sitting

huddled in blankets by the cook fire or with a makeshift

heater of live coals in an old lard can. The cold winds

take their yearly toll among the very young, the very old,

and the infirm.

The inhabitants of the Santa Cruz region are

better known as Cambas, a term believed to have originated

from the Guarant word meaning "friend," but now Camba

has several meanings. It was first applied to the peasant

class and was synonomous with the peon~who was tied to a

large agricultural establishment, or finca, by debt.

As time went by, Camba became an all-inclusive term for

lowland society, both peasant and aristocrat. It addi-

tionally became a means by which the lowlander could

demonstrate his cultural as well as geographical distance

from highlanders whom he disparagingly referred to as

Kollas (from the Quechua word Kollasuyo, the Bolivian

sector of the Inca Empire). All of these uses continue

the present day although the first, that of a class

distinction among lowlanders, has declined in popularity

in recent years.

The Camba for the most part is a mestizo, and

even those families professing "pure Castillian heritage"

would be hard-pressed to prove this claim. It is a

well-known fact that not many European women accompanied

the Spanish conquest so that mestizoization proceeded

at a rapid pace. In the case of Santa Cruz, the taking

of wives and concubines from among the native populations

was even more pronounced due to its extreme isolation and

rusticity. If a Spanish woman was hesitant about crossing

the Atlantic to make her home in Buenos Aires or even

Lima, she certainly was not going to consider a place like

Santa Cruz. It is not unreasonable to assume, then, that

few, if any, Europeans were able to maintain their ethnic

purity for more than a generation or two. At the same

time, many Cambas exhibit phenotypic characteristics which

would indicate some African influence, giving credence

to the numerous tales that Santa Cruz became a refuge

for black slaves escaping Brazilian plantations. Thus

the,Camba tends to be a potpourri of highland Indian

(Quechua and Aymara), lowland Indian (Guarant, Guarayo,

Chiquitano and many more), European primarily from

southern Spain, and perhaps African.

The Cambas have been termed an emergent society

(Heath 1959) because of their isolation due go~geographic

barriers and tremendous distances which until quite

recently effectively inhibited contact with the outside

world. It is only an outsiders, however, who would use

this phrase, Camba society has existed since the Iberian

conquest and traces its origins back to the first Spanish

conquistadors who rode east from the Andes and west from

the Argentine. From this point, nevertheless, Cruceiian

history becomes a muddle of oral tradition and scant


There are no public libraries or archival deposits

in Santa Cruz. The few documents pertaining to the area

during colonial times are now dispersed throughout the

world or held by private individuals in the area.

Cruceiian historians attribute the loss of most records

to the ravages of time and climate and to the destructive

uses to which they were put. S. Montero Hoyos has written

During the times when troops were sent
[to Santa Cruz] from the interior of
Bolivia, they were quartered in the
Colegio Nacional, which gave these
generally illiterate soldiers access
to the using of the archives as toilet
paper; for this rea-son Santa Cruz does
not preserve anything of historic tra-
dition, because it was in that church
(El Sagrario) and in the Colegio where
the archives were kept. (Q~uoted in
Jisund 1974:13)

Another historian explains how the cannon from the War

of Independence, which was kept in the Prefectura and

fired every 24th of September to commemorate the

Cruce~an bid for freedom from Spain, was wadded with

colonial documents (also related in Jisundj 1974:13).

Because of inadequate sources of documentation, the

piecing together of Cruceiian history since the conquest

has occasioned no small amount of controversy among

national historians. The most heated debate revolves

about the amount of influence the highlands have had

in the birth and development of lowland society.

The well-known Bolivian historian, Enrique Finot,

who is himself a lowlander, has been accused of overempha-

sizing the importance of the Peruvian geopolitical sphere

during the period of Spanish colonization in the lowlands.

In his Historia de la Conquista del Oriente Boliviano,

Finot remarks

A curious account taken from the Archivos
de Indias and which constitutes the sole
document known which refers to the inhabi-
tants of the Grigot6 [Santa Cruz] plains
during the period of the conquest or
immediately prior to it, sheds a great
deal of light on the fact that, upon
arrival of the first Spaniards, the
territory was found to be under the
domination of the Incas of Peru. This
is one more reason to recognize the
totally Altoperuvian origins of the city
of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. (Finot

Recent studies (Sanabria 1973) indicate that the Incas

never were successful in their efforts to subjugate the

lowland aborigines and were therefore required to build

a series of fortresses to keep the "barbaric hordes"

from invading their highland dominions. But whatever

the particular historical interpretation may be, one

salient point emerges from this dispute. Lowland Bolivians,

and especially the Camba, will disavow whenever possible

any substantial Andean influence in the formation of

their culture and tradition. The separatist philosophy

of the Camba began and was cultivated during colonial

times and continues to the present day. In any event,

it cannot be denied that the first to arrive in the

area were Spaniards from the Argentine, not those from

the Peruvian highlands, and from that moment on, what is

now the Department of Santa Cruz was caught in a cross-

fire of conflicting interests and petty quarrels. The

most current treatment of colonial Santa Cruz, that

written by Hernando Sanabria Ferndndez (1973), is recog-

nized by lowlanders and highlanders alike as perhaps

the best and most accurate documentation presently avail-

able. In the following brief summation of lowland

conquest and settlement, then, it is the Sanabrian

interpretation which is presented.

In 1549, Captain Domingo Martfnez de Irala set

out from Asunci6n, Paraguay, in quest of the legendary

"Mountain of Silver" reputed to lie in the mountains

to the west. He halted his march at the Guapay River

(now the Rio Grande) where he was informed by the abori-

gine residents that other Spaniards had already claimed

the highland dominions formerly ruled by the Incas. Irala

was bitterly disappointed to find that his dre;-:s of

conquest and riches would never be realized, but he

decided to try to make the best of the situation. Rather

than return empty-handed to Asunci6n, Irala sent an envoy

to the Audiencia Real in Lima to lay claim to the terri-

tories he had discovered east of the Peruvian viceroyalty.

The envoy was Captain Nuflo de Chdvez, well known

in the La Plata region for his audacity in battle and

his leadership qualities. Af-ter weeks of travel through

the Andes, Chdvez arrived in Lima only to be told curtly

by the authorities that Irala and his followers were to

cease their explorations westward or be held in royal

disobedience. With this news Irala had no choice but to

retreat to Asuncidn where he began planning his return

to the area to establish a permanent colony and thereby

secure his claim. But once more his aspirations of empire

were thwarted, now permanently, for Domingo Martinez de

Irala died suddenly on October 3, 1556, never again to

cross the plains of Grigotd. Nuflo de Chdvez had no

intention, however, of permitting the death of Irala

to crush the La Plata effort to colonize the lowland

plains. By February, 1558, he had gathered together an

army of 150 Spaniards and more than 2,000 Guarant Indians

to begin the march to the RFo Guapay. Bloody battles

with hostile Indians along the route, treachery, and

mutiny reduced the Chdvez ranks to no more thanmi500

Spaniards and only a few hundred Guarant. The ragged

group finally reached the Rio Guapay on August 1, 1559,

where the first permanent settlement was established.

Nuflo christened the site Nueva Asuncidn in honor of the

distant post in Paraguay where his journey had begun.

Only days after .the founding of Nueva Asuncidn,

another contingent of Spaniards rode into the small camp

on the banks of the river. The band was led by Captain

Andr~s Manso, who had left Peru with permission from the

Audiencia to colonize the lands now occupied by Chdvez.

Nuflo dared not risk the wrath of the powerful viceroyalty

in Lima, so, rather than use force to keep what he felt

was rightfully his, he tried guile. Manso was convinced

to remain in the lowlands to govern both groups of colo-

nizers in Nueva Asuncidn while Chivez, along with Manso's

emissary, took the land dispute to Lima to be decided by

higher authority. Acting on his own behalf, Nuflo de

Cha'vez was in a much stronger bargaining position than his

adversary who was only a spokesman for the absent Manso.

Thus, on February 15, 1560, Viceroy Andres Hurtado de

Mendoza Marquis de Ca~ete created the province of Moxos,

to be granted to his son, Garefa Hurtado de Mendoza.

In the absence of the latter, Nuflo de Chdvez was ap-

pointed Lieutenant General of the entire region. Manso

was summoned to Lima but defied his recall, choosing

instead to settle near Nueva Asuncidn where he was killed

by a group of hostile Chiriguano Indians.

On his return to the lowlands, Nuflo was given

supplies, Spanish soldiers, arms, and substantial quanti-
ties of highland Indians to assist in the colonization of

the Mxors territory. Throughout the march to the east,

the local groups of aborigines encountered along the way

were brought peacefully or by arms under the yoke of

Spanish rule. One such group were the Chiquitanos, who

at the time of conquest were in control of the wide cen-

tral plain. Nuflo befriended- the Chiquitanos and they

in turn helped him locate the site which was to be the

headquarters of the Moxos colonies. The area chosen was

at the base of the Brazilian Shield .beside a clear stream

known as the Sutos. During a formal ceremony on February

26, 1561, the settlement was inaugurated. Nuflo named

the newly founded town Santa Cruz de la Sierra after

the village in Extremadura where he had been born 44

years earlier. Having firmly established his claim in

the lowlands, Chdvez rode east to Asuncidn where he

gathered his wife, children, and numerous settlers,

both Indian and European, to return to Santa Cruz.

With the impetus of additional colonists, the town began

to grow and prosper. In 1568, however, the fierce

Itatines invaded from the north and Nuflo de Chivez

was killed in the skirmish. The populace voted Diego

de Mendoza to succeed Chivez. Mendoza began his

stewardship by putting down the Itatin revolt and re-

establishing peace in the region.

But once again adversity in the form of highland

interference was to plague the Santa Cruz colony. Upon

the rise to power of Francisco de Toledo as Viceroy of

Peru, Diego de Mendoza was deposed as governor of Moxos.

The position was to be occupied by one of Toledo's men,

Juan Pirez de Zurita. Shortly after his arrival in

Santa Cruz, Zurita was routed from the town by Mendoza's

followers and was unceremoniously sent packing back to

Toledo. Incensed by the rebellious Cruceiians, Toledo

himself led an expedition into the lowlands to punish

the offending settlement. The viceroy's troops were no

sooner onto the lowland plain when they were attacked

by the Chiriguanos and forced into a hasty retreat in

which Toledo barely escaped alive. He prudently decided

at that point to let Santa Cruz manage its own affairs.

During the next two years Santa Cruz was torn in bitter

civil strife between the supporters of Mendoza and

those faithful to the viceroyalty in Lima. Finally

Toledo sent word that amnesty for all had been proclaimed,

and an invitation to Mendoza to visit the highlands was

extended. Upon his arrival in Potosi, Mendoza was taken

prisoner on order from the viceroy and a few days later

In the course of the next several years, the

Audiencia of Charcas, under whose jurisdiction Santa Cruz

fell, tried to convince the Viceroyalty of Peru to estab-

lish another lowland city closer to the highlands. The

inhabitants of Santa Cruz would then be moved to the new

location and the old settlement would simply be abandoned.

In October of 1580, Lorenzo Sudrez de Figueroa was charged

with the task of founding this new lowland capital. Fierce

battles with the Guaranf led to an abortive attempt to

build a fort on the plains between the Piray and Guapay

Rivers. A second settlement, San Lorenzo el Real, was

finally secured on the west bank of the Guapay, aind here

a governing body for the region was established. The

inhabitants of Santa Cruz protested loudly at having their

ruling powers over the region usurped and made good their

protest by refusing to move into San Lorenzo. The new

capital was soon met with natural disaster when the

Guapay River flooded, carrying away most of the settlement.

San Lorenzo was then moved back to the site of the old

fort, the Guaranis having been dispersed.

The inhabitants of Santa Cruz continued their

former existence, but because of their rebellious atti-

tude remained a source of aggravation for the Audiencia

of Charcas. In 1604 an envoy sent by the Charcas

authorities arrived in Santa Cruz with the order that

the city was to be moved. The residents acceded to

the decree, but they refused to cohabit with the San

Lorenzo community. Instead, the Crucehans located five

leagues away where they remained for 17 years.

At theiend of this period, the governor of San Lorenzo,

Nuio de la Cueva, working with the Jesuits, began to

seek means to unite the two settlements. It was finally

agreed that Santa Cruz would move to San Lorenzo, but

would not give up its autonomy or its sovereign rights

to govern its citizens. Gradually the Crucen'ans began

to take over the city, and in a matter of just a few

years even the name San Lorenzo was cast aside in favor

of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Charcas may have succeeded

in moving the city closer to-the highlands, but it was

incapable of reshaping the independent, intractable

inhabitants who constituted its populace.

The postcolonial history of Santa Cruz to the

present is long and complex, but throughout its course

two themes reoccur: isolation and local autonomy. When

the new Viceroyalty of La Plata was created in 1778,

Santa Cruz as part of Upper Peru passed from control

of the Audiencia of Charcas to that of Buenos Aires.

The shift in the domains of government had little effect

on the remote lowland province. It was just as diffi.-

cult to maintain adequate communication with Santa Cruz

from Buenos Aires as it had been from the highlands.

Thus the region continued to conduct its affairs as a

semiautonomous state.

The first moves toward emancipation from Spain

went virtually unnoticed by the Cambas. It was not until

two patriots, Eustaquio Moldes and Juan Manuel Lemoine,

rode down from Cochabamba with word of the insurrection,

that Santa Cruz became involved in the War for Independence

(Urquidi 1944:117). There was little doubt that the

city would support the rebel forces rather than side

with the royalist cause. Thus on September 24, 1810,

Santa Cruz formed a junta revolucionaria and seceded

from Upper Peru. The Santa Cruz region was never the

scene of any major battles during the 15-year war,

but the Cambas contributed to the harassment of royalist

forces by the effective guerrilla warfare they waged.

In 1814, led by the Argentine Colonel Ignacio Warnes,

the Cruce~an guerrillas ambushed the royalist army led

by General Blanco and claimed a victory over 900 enemy

troops, an event still celebrated every 25th of May.

The Venezuelan General Antonio Josd de Sucre,

emissary of Sim6n Bolivar, arrived in La Paz on February

9, 1825, to promulgate the Independence Decree for the

provinces of Upper Peru. The Santa Cruz representative

was still in Buenos Aires awaiting the convocation of

the Assembly of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata.

It must have come as some surprise for him to learn

that Santa Cruz had been annexed to the recently formed

highland nation of Bolivia rather than to one of the

La Plata republics as had been anticipated (Finot 1954:

184-195). The fact remains that Santa Cruz was not

fully represented when the Assembly of the Provinces of

Upper Peru gathered, but the business of nation-building

was carried on in spite of this oversight. By the time

Antonio Vincente Seoane had been dispatched from Santa

Cruz and arrived in the highlands, the formal Independence

Decree had been prepared and signed by the .other dele-

gates. Seoane entered the city of Chuquisaca on August

6, 1825, and, on that same day the final signature was

affixed to the document and the independent nation state

of Bolivia officially came into being.

Once the war ended, Santa Cruz settled back into

the indolence of isolation it had previously enjoyed.

As presidents came and went in the highlands, the low-

lands remained oblivious to the political turmoil seething

beyond its boundaries. In the countryside the Camba

campesino continued his insular existence much as he had

since the first years of settlement. The French explorer

Alcide d'Orbigny visited the Santa Cruz plains shortly

after Independence and commented

.the campesino of Santa Cruz is
the happiest of men. He does not
know, nor does he care to know, any-
thing of other regions. For him, the
world is a radius of a few familiar
places, hemmed in by the mountains
which he sees as a vast curtain across
the horizon. (Orbigny 1835-1837:536)

While highland Bolivia was characterized by an

active mining industry, by an exploitative system of

absentee landholdings, and by political intrigues,

Santa Cruz continued its unhurried pastoral existence.

But the latter third of the 19th century ushered in the

rubber boom which for the first time in its history

brought wealth and prosperity to the city of Santa Cruz

de la Sierra. Hordes of rubber tappers, the siringueros,

flooded north into the Beni and Pando, attracted by the

high wages offered by the rubber barons of Santa Cruz.

The pound sterling became the standard currency in the

lowlands and even today many Cruceiians retain these coins

among old family treasures. Those who remained behind

had a ready market for all the rice, manioc, beef jerky

and other staples that could be produced in surplus to

feed the siringueros. Great privations were suffered by

the tappers. Many went hungry, had chronic illnesses,

and were brutalized by their employers. Others died

from malaria, drowned in floods, or were killed by

Indians. Fawcett (1924) reported that the laborers on

the Madeira River had a working life of only five years.

When men no longer could be recruited for the jungles,

they were taken as slaves. Both the great surge in the

lowland economy and the countless atrocities committed

to insure its continuation came to an end in 1910 when

southeast Asia flooded the market with great quantities

of cheap rubber. Bolivia simply could not compete and

was forced to abandon the rubber trade. The city of

Santa Cruz once again fell into the somnolence of its

past; fortunes were quickly depleted and prosperity

drained away.

The beginning of the 20th century witnessed re-

newed interest by the highland government in the lowlands

to the east. Several unsuccessful attempts were made

at integrating Santa Cruz into the national sphere. In

1909 a telegraph line was strung between Cochabama and

Santa Cruz in an effort to increase communication with

the isolated province. All major political offices in

the lowlands were given to highlanders appointed by the

La Paz government. These measures served only to

heighten the rebellious chauvinistic attitudes of the

Camba. Secessionist revolts occurred in 1920 and in 1924,

both of which were quickly put down by federal forces,

but the seed of fear had been planted.

Since the early 1920's, when the Standard Oil

Company had secured concessions for exploration in the

Gran Chaco desert, Bolivia and Paraguay had been disput-

ing the undemarked boundary zone in this region. Moves

on both sides to gain control of the potentially oil-rich

land resulted in several border skirmishes, and in 1931

war broke out between the two contenders. The La Paz

government feared that Santa Cruz would side with the

Paraguayans, with whom they had much stronger cultural

ties. Thus immediate means were taken to prevent the

department from any renewed attempt to secede. All

political posts were given to highlanders, military

command was denied to Cruceians, and the Cambas were

forbidden to form their~own regiments (Heath 1959:30-31).

Rather than uniting lowlanders and highlanders in a common

cause, the war served only to embed more deeply the old

regional hatreds. One Chaco veteran recalled

It was an incredibly horrible time!
War is always ugly, I guess, but this
was like Hell. The worst part of it
was that we had not one enemy but
three--we had constantly to fight
thirst and the Kollas, as well as the
Paraguayans. There were many who
went mad with thirst and killed them-
selves or were killed. And there were
also many who were killed by the
Bolivians--the Kollas had only to say
that a Camba was a spy to have him
shot. This way they amused themselves
when the war was slow, and as many of
our buddies were killed by Kollas as
by the enemy on the other side. Of
course, we were able to kill a few
of them too, but it was dangerous.
(quoted in Heath 1959:31)

The treaty of 1938 ended the war but brought

defeat to Bolivia. The major portion of the disputed

desert area was awarded to Paraguay, and Bolivia was

left counting its dead. The Cambas were grateful to

return to their farmlands, away from the savagery of war

and their despised compatriots, the Kollas. The high-

landers, no doubt, were just as eager to leave the low-

land wastes and be reunited with their families. Once

again the national government was thrown into a frenzy

of political turmoil with a series of coups which kept

the highland politicians preoccupied with their own

affairs. Santa Cruz was permitted to quietly lick the

wounds of war and return to a semblance of normalcy.

In 1952 the MNR (Movimiento Nlacionalista Revolu-

cionaria) led by Victor Paz Estenssoro gained control of

the Bolivian government. The Cruce~an factions of the

party centered primarily in the city of Santa Cruz, were

appointed to major political posts and began to seek

a wider following in the lowland countryside. Sweeping

reforms instituted by the new government radically

altered the old social order throughout the entire

nation. Perhaps of greatest impact was the Agrarian

Reform Law enacted in 1953 which effectively put an end

to the established land tenure system.

The highland campesino traditionally had been

tied in perpetual serfdom to an agricultural establish-

ment, the hacienda. In return for the privilege of

cultivating a small parcel of the poorest soil, he was

required to give the landlord from four to six days'

labor per week. Contrary to the views of many writers

such as Jose Romero Loza who states that the Camba

campesino "was never subjected either historically,

economically, or socially to servile and free labor"

(Romero 1974:296), the lowland version of the hacienda,

the finca, was also operating in a similar manner.

Because of differences in settlement patterns, no entire

villages were simply transferred like chattel from the

hands of the Incas to those of the Spaniard and their

descendants as occurred in the highlands.. Nevertheless,

the Camba landlord depended on large quantities of inex-

pensive labor to sustain his enterprise just as did his

highland counterpart. Thus the Camba pean was tied to

his landlord not by a long tradition of servitude, but

by debt. Wages were always kept low enough to insure

that no farm family could possibly live off their earnings.

In order to meet his basic needs, the Camba peon was

forced to buy supplies on credit from the finquero. The

debt was generational, and just as in the highland case,

insured a stable work force.

The lowland situation, however, presented one

major difference. There never existed a true shortage

of arable land as was prevalent in the mountains. Any-

one with a spirit for adventure and the fortitude to

withstand great hardship and solitude could escape into

the wilderness and carve out a homestead. He may not have

been able to market his produce, but he would be free

from the demands of the finquero and relatively free

from hunger. Many of the more courageous Cambas did

just that, opening up new territories to th~e north and

east. Others were content to remain on the finca which

robbed them of dignity and self-determination but at the

same time provided some security. On the finca the Camba

peons had access to a few comforts such as kerosene for

their lamps, sugar, salt, tob-acco, and the ever-important

cane alcohol, all purchased on credit and assuring greater

indebtedness and more years of toil. Many of the patrons

took their paternalism quite seriously, providing medical

attention for their laborers and schools for the children.

Just as many were ruthless and cruel to those who worked

their lands. The huasca (leather whip) was always at

hand and very seldom spared. Runaway peons were hunted

down with dogs and men on horseback and were severely

punished if caught. One woman related the story of the

patron who dealt with recalcitrant pens by giving them

enemas prepared with hot peppers.

The days of the great landlords came to an

abrupt end in Bolivia when the Agrarian Refo~rm laws

were enacted in 1953. In the mountains, the land pre-

viously held by wealthy upper class Bolivians, often in

absenteeism, was confiscated by the government and re-

distributed to the impoverished peasant serfs. Land-

owners in such places as the Cochabamba Valley where

the population is extremely dense were totally divested

of their holdings. Because of the pressure in the high-

lands for arable land, previous patrons were left with

a very small part of their original estates. In many

instances, land was forcibly taken by groups of campe-

sino unions, the sindicatos, which were unwilling to

await the due process of law. Great tracts of land were

also expropriated in the less densely populated Santa

Cruz region, but here properties were of an enormous

size in comparison to those in the interior of the

nation. The demand for land by the lowland campesinos

could be met easily. Thus the patrons in Santa Cruz

were also divested of large portions of their original

holdings, but in most cases they retained adequate

amounts to continue extensive farming. What broke the

lowland finquero was not so much the loss of land but the

loss of the labor necessary to work it, for hand-in-hand

with the Agrarian Reform went a decree to abolish all

forms of debt peonage and a cancellation of all outstand-

ing accounts held against the finca workers. Even the

promise of higher wages was insufficient enticement for

the peons who could now secure their own farms nearby

at only the cost of title registration. Those finqueros

with foresight and capital began to mechanize their

operations and were ultimately spared the financial ruin

experienced by many of their contemporaries. Most,

however, were forced by economic~necessity to sell off

their remaining land and move to the cities where they

sought other forms of income. The property in turn was

purchased by individual farmers and by agribusiness con-

sortia which were cued to the coming economic expansion

in the lowlands.

After more than five years under the revolution-

ary government, Bolivia began to evaluate the results of

many of its programs for change. Efforts were made to

assess the outcome of the Agrarian Reform on agricul-

tural production throughout the nation. Some observers

such as the United Nations' Economic Commission for

Latin America (1958) reported a 15 per cent drop in pro-

duction as a result of land reform and forecast grave

economic problems for the future. Ronald J. Clark

countered the ECLA report by pointing out that produc-

tion had not necessarily fallen off but simply may have

been rechanneled (Clark 1968). Due to the reform, he

argued, the campesino was now able to keep more of his

produce for personal consumption instead of handing it

over to the hacienda. Hence less of the nation's aqri-

cultural products were reaching urban centers where they

could be counted. Clark added that the revolution also

destroyed the old marketing system, formerly in the

hands of the landowners, and that it would take time

for the campesino to establish a new marketing network.

Nevertheless, as Zondag has noted in his study

of postrevolution Bolivian economy, the peasant was given

land to work but very little monetary or technical

assistance to permit him to rise much above a subsistence

level. Then too, in such localities as Cochabamba, be-

coming a landholder meant very little in terms of economic

betterment. More than 8,000 families in the Cochabamba

received less than 1.5 hectares of arable land (Zondag

1968:186). By 1964 the economy began to recover, but

social pressures in the highlands continued to increase

as well. For the children of many families there would

be no land, or at least not enough for them to eke out

a living. The cities offered only .temporary relief since

Bolivia as yet has no industrial base to support large

urban 'populations. By the early 1960's many campesinos

began to look toward Santa Cruz and the abundant farm-

land it offered as a possible solution.

Prior to the enactment of the Agrarian Reform

laws, the three largest mines in Bolivia, those owned

by Patiiio, Hoschchild, and Aramayo were nationalized

and brought under the control of COMIBOL (Corporacidn

Minera de Bolivia), an agency of the central government.

According to Zondag (1968:109), "From an economic point

of view, the impact of the 1952 revolution on the

mining industry has been a disaster." As the result

of political patronage, COMIBOL was required to take on

greater numbers of additional employees. The labor

rolls jumped from 24,000 mine employees in 1951 to 36,558

in 1958 (Zondag 1968:120). At the same time, production

had slumped from a 1949 total of 34,600 metric tons of

tin ore mined to the COMIBOL 1961 figure of only 15,000

metric tons (Zondag 1968:120). Low market prices, poor

administration, depletion of ore deposits along with

the practice of featherbedding, all contributed to the

decline of the mining sector. The labor situation became

acute. Mining unions represented a formidable obstacle

to the attempts at streamlining mining operations and

efforts to increase mechanization in the mines. At one

point it became more profitable to pay miners to remain

at home than put them on the job using up expensive

materials such as explosives to quarry what was mostly

worthless rock.

In 1961 the crisis of COMIBOL reached its peak.

The mines had been operating in the red for almost ten

years without any indication that conditions would improve.

It is unknown what the losses were for the period 1952-

1957, but between 1958 and 1961 the deficit totalled

approximately 52.2 million dollars (Romero 1974:303).

The rise of Fidel Castro in 1959 coupled with the rumored

offers by the USSR to bail out COMIBOL spurred western

governments to a hasty loan proposal of US $37,750,000.

The Plan Triangular, as it was known, would supply tech-

nical as well as financial assistance to the failing

industry. There were strings attached, however, and

COMIBOL was expected to make major alterations in its

administrative practices. By 1964 COMIBOL, aided by the

rising price of tin on the world market, was at last

operating at a profit. Economic solvency was short-lived,

however. Production costs rose at a much greater rate

than the market could absorb, and in 1966 COMIBOL was

once again in debt--41 million dollars' worth. This

deficit was transferred to the Presupesto Nacional

(national budget) which in turn was covered by US

financial assistance to Bolivia. Another 20 million

dollars over the original loan was allocated under the

Plan, but the mining industry failed to respond. As

Romero has stated somewhat cryptically, "The entity

remains as an untouchable monument to inefficiency"

(Romero 1974:308).

During the years the Plan Triangular was in

operation, COMIB0L was required by provisions of the

loan agreement to cut back on mine personnel. Miners

were laid off amidst the hue and cry of the indicate

leaders, but even the labor unions were incapable of

wielding enough coercive power to maintain previous

employment levels. The industry was sick, and there

was no cure in sight. One of the major problems faced

by the Bolivian revolutionary government was that of

relocating the ex-miners. Many simply drifted into the

cities or back into the countryside, in search of some

alternate source of income. Others justifiably argued

that the government should make some provision for them.

Aid was sought from several international agencies, in-

cluding the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB),to fund

colonization projects in the lowlands. It was hoped

that these programs would not only offer a solution to

the problem of unemployed min-ers, but at the same time

would serve as an escape valve for the pressures created

by land-hungry campesinos. In reality, colonization

accomplished neither of these goals, but it contributed

to the first trickle of highland migrants into the low-

lands which in succeeding years was to become an ava-


Though it has been debated heatedly whether or

not the 1952 revolution was of any significant economic

advantage to the highlands (that it represented definite

achievements in the social sphere has not been denied),

it proved to be the necessary impetus to awaken Santa

Cruz from its years of lethargy and plunge it headlong

into the modern capitalistic system. Cornelius Zondag

opens his chapter on the lowlands of Santa Cruz with the

following statement:

Even the most severe critics of the
Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucion-
aria admit one thing: the develop-
mental efforts of the MNR discovered
a new, tropical Bolivia. Admitting
that the idea of developing the plains
was not new, it was now up to the
nationalist revolutionary government
to make this dream a reality. (Zondag

The Cochabamba-Santa Cruz highway was completed, and

railroads were pushed through to the Brazilian and

Argentine borders. With major transportation routes

now available, Santa Cruz could look beyond its own

boundaries toward national and international markets

for its agricultural products.

Since colonial times, Santa Cruz agriculturalists

have concentrated on the production of two marketable

items, sugar and rice. Of course, many secondary crops

have been cultivated such as corn, bananas, manioc, coffee,

pineapple and peanuts, but sugarcane and rice tradition-

ally represented the stanchion of the regional marketing

system. In times past, sugar was produced on the finca;

the cane was pressed and the juice rendered into sugar

and other byproducts in the huge pailas, earthen caul-

drons fired with dry kindling. The sugar was then stored

in pottery urns called hormas, with a layer of moist

clay spread on top to bleach out some of the molasses.

Until the 1950's, all of the sugar produced in Santa

Cruz was made in this manner.

In 1949 the lowlands provided only 249 tons

of sugar for national consumption. Then in 1952 a

private concern constructed the first commercial sugar

mill in the area, located between Santa Cruz and the

town of Warnes, in the heart of cane country. This

was "La 861gica," soon to be followed by another private

mill, "San Aurelio," built on the outskirts of the city

of Santa Cruz. Funds were made available by the new

revolutionary government to cane growers for the expan-

sion of sugarcane production and to business enterprises

interested in constructing new mills. One of the latter

was "La Esperanza," which recieved a loan of US $400,000

and was soon augmenting lowland output by 460,000 kilos

of sugar per year (Romero 1974:257). By 1957 the

government mill north of Monerto, "Guabird," was com-

pleted along with a paved highway connecting the mill

to Santa Cruz and the route to the interior. As each

succeeding mill was brought into production, more and

more land was put to cane,. In 1958 there were 5,800

hectares in sugarcane. This amount had risen to 24,600

hectares by 1964. In tonnages of sugar produced, the

1949 figure of 249 tons jumped to 93,600 tons in 1964

and peaked at 115,700 tons in 1969 (Reye 1974:13).

Sugar importations dropped from 66,700 tons in 1956 to

zero in 1964. Exportation began in 1960 on a small

scale of only 500 tons. However, by 1969, exports

had risen to 10,000 tons annually (Reye 1974:13).

The impact of commercial sugar production in

Santa Cruz was far reaching. More than 12,000 zafreros

(cane cutters) were needed each year to get the crop in.

Most Cambas were unwilling to hire out for the back-

breaking work, so labor had to be sought elsewhere.

Highlanders responded to the call for zafreros, many

of them campesinos in search of off-season work to

supplement their farm incomes. The cane harvest coin-

cided nicely with the three-month fallow period preceding

spring planting. There are no data available regarding

the number of cane cutters who may have chosen to remain

in the lowlands, but numerous highlanders now residing

in towns or on small farms throughout the Santa Cruz

region confess that it was the cane harvest which gave

them their first glimpse of lowland life. They liked it

and decided to stay.

The development of rice production in Santa

Cruz followed a similar pattern to that of sugar. At

the time of the revolution of 1952, Bolivia was import-

ing 53 per cent of its consumption needs or 83,000 quintales

(100 1bs.) of rice per year (Romero 1974:257). Land

under rice cultivation in Santa Cruz amounted to 16,000

hectares in 1955 and increased to 35,815 hectares in

1964. Rice production for 1964 reached 42,500 tons,

exceeding national demand by 10,000 tons. By the follow-

ing year the rice growers cut back 30 per cent on culti-

vation as a result of the previous year's overproduction

(Zondag 1968:194).

The boom being experienced by Santa Cruz agri-

culture made lowland settlement seem more palatable

to many highlanders. There was money to be made in

the area, and land was available in large quantities

at relatively low cost. Even colonization no longer

appeared to be such an ends-of-the-earth proposition.

The prospect of homesteading the lowlands became of

increasing interest to nonnational groups as well. In

its efforts to spur the development of the Santa Cruz

region, the Bolivian government granted large tracts of

land to foreign migrants demonstrating a willingness to

become permanent and productive agriculturalists. To the

north, in the center of prime rice producing terrain, the

Japanese established the San Juan colony. To the east,

the Okinawans set up their colony of the same name and

are engaged in both cane and rice growing. A group of

01d Colony Mennonites have been allotted land to the

south of Santa Cruz, and their small settlements are well

on the way to prosperity.

Coincidental to the great awakening of agricul-

ture in Santa Cruz has been the exploitation of oil

resources in the region. Although petroleum extraction

has not contributed significantly to the labor market,

employing only about 2,000 persons or I per cent of the

departmental labor pool, it has made available substan-

tial capital to the development of the region. By law,

the Comite de Obras Pliblicas (Public Works Department)

of Santa Cruz receives 11 per cent of the revenues ob-

tained from petroleum products extracted in the depart-

ment. By 1974 Obras P~iblicas had invested US $17,800,000

within the city of Santa Cruz for sewers, potable water,

paying, and other urban projects. In the countryside,

another US $6,050,000 has been dispersed for rural elec-

trification programs and potable water systems (Reye

1974:11). At this point it is interesting to note that

the Comitd de Obras Pdblicas of Santa Cruz has succeeded

in hiring many of the most promising young architects,

engineers and planners in Bolivia, owing no doubt to the

fact that it is one of the few governmental bureaucracies

which pays well, on time, and has adequate funding for

its projects.

The beginning of the 1970's witnessed a temporary

decline in sugarcane cultivation brought about by several

droughts, sugarcane blight, and progressively lower prices.

Hectares of land under cane cultivation dropped from 35,000

in 1970 to 27,000 hectares in 1971. During this decline,

many growers switched from cane to cotton which was de-

manding high prices on the world market and which had

demonstrated good adaptability to the soil and climatic

conditions of the region. Formerly cotton had been grown

in the lowlands by only one enterprise, the "Algodonera,"

a privately owned, government-subsidized monopoly. A

new administration in La Paz opened up cotton production

to free enterprise, and everyone, farmers with large and

small holdings alike, jumped on the bandwagon. From the

6,000 hectares controlled by the Algodonera in 1968,

cotton cultivation spiraledaito 67,000 hectares in 1974

(Reye 1974:15). Most of this cotton is destined for ex-

port, an income which in 1973 assisted Bolivia's balance

of payments by 19 million dollars.

Aside from the economic impact on the region, the

shift from cane to the more lucrative crop of cotton has

occasioned demographic repercussions throughout the nation

as well. Unlike sugarcane which during harvest makes use

of small groups of primarily male laborers to cut, clean,

and load the cane on trucks, cotton harvesting is highly

labor intensive and a good deal less strenuous. Thus it

requires large numbers of pickers who are not necessarily

restricted by age or sex. Once again, the lowlands were

not able to meet the demand for labor, and contractors

were sent into the highlands to hire individuals, families,

or even entire villages and ship them down to the cotton

fields of Santa Cruz. In 1974, 34,000 pickers worked

in the cotton harvest and it has been estimated that over

half remained in the lowlands (Federacidn de Campesinos


The surging economy of Santa Cruz not only has

been a major inducement for the highlander to migrate to.

the lowlands, but at the same time has benefited from

that migration. For along with the thousands of har-

vesters have come the camp followers--merchants, crafts-

men, artisans, and unskilled laborers--all riding the

crest of free-flowing money. It is the place for the

entrepreneur, where with a modicum of luck and experience

any small enterprise will mushroom into a profitable


Lowlanders have not been overly enthusiastic

about this recent invasion of their homeland by highland

Bolivians, but they are fully aware of the positive impact

it has had on the growth and development of the region.

The deeply embedded preju.dices held by the Camba will

ultimately be eroded away by time and by the sheer numbers

of highlanders moving into Santa Cruz. Perhaps the fate

of the Camba is that they will simply cease to exist,

only to rise in their stead a new and truly "emergent

society" of lowland Bolivians.



Santa Cruz de la Sierra, or simply Santa Cruz,

is the capital of the department of the same name and

is the largest urban center in the lowlands. Nearly

a third of the department's half million inhabitants

reside in the city of Santa Cruz (Reye 1974:104), and

although other smaller cities such as Montero are rap-

idly gaining in prominence, it is Santa Cruz which remains

the center of all-governmental and commercial activity

in the region.

The precipitous growth of the city from 43,000

inhabitants in 1950 to 170,000 in 1973 may be attributed

mostly to internal migration in Bolivia. It has been

estimated that 17 per cent of the city's residents are

migrants from other departments, primarily those of

the interior. Another 18 per cent are Cambas who have

left their farms and villages to move to Santa Cruz

(Reye 1974:101). For the highland migrant, the entice-

ment of the lowland capital has been overwhelmingly the

promise of economic gain. At present the department

boasts the highest per capital income in the nation, and

the city is attracting about half of those highlanders

seeking better income opportunities in the lowlands.

The Camba migrants have expressed several motives for

leaving the countryside, including, of course, higher

wages, but educational needs and the desire to live in

an urban situation--the so-called "bright lights" syn-

drome--also enter into the decision to migrate.

Santa Cruz is now very much a reflection of

the great flows of migrants which have settled within

the city's boundaries. The lowland migrant, for the

most part, has been assimilated into the resident popu-

lation. The highlander has added an entirely new dimen-

sion to traditional Crucehan society.

The city

The city of Santa Cruz began as a traditional

Mediterranean-style settlement of streets set out in a

grid pattern with a central plaza. The physical orien-

tation, whether by plan or accident, is almost true to

the cardinal axes. *Dominating the south side of the

main square, the Plaza 24 de Septiembre, is the Santa

Cruz Cathedral. It is frequently photographed by errant

fans of colonial art, but in actuality the building

is only 50 years old. On the north side of the plaza

is the Banco Nacional de Bolivia, a neo-Baroque structure

painted a brilliant turquoise blue. To the east and

west are public and private buildings including the

mayor's office (Alcaldfa), the police department

(Intendencia), the Departmental offices (Prefectura),

restaurants, tourist shops, bookstores, and a movie


Unlike urban centers in other parts of the

world, the inner city has not degenerated into a slum

area but remains the hub of social and commercial ac-

tivity. Many of the older Cruceiian families continue

to make their homes there. The buildings for the most

part are single-story masonry or wattle-and-daub which

has been plastered and whitewashed. Roofs are almost

uniformly Spanish tile. A few multistory buildings

have been completed; the newest and tallest, still

under construction, rises 12 stories. Still, when

viewed from a high vantage point, the city presents a

calm sea of curved, lichen-splotched tile. Only oc-

casionally is the stone interrupted by a concrete struc-

ture rising above the mass of red-orange roofs.

Prior to the installation of sewer lines and the

paying of the first streets near the main plaza, Santa

Cruz was characterized by two extremes: dust and mud.

During dry weather, winds of the plains of Grigotd drove

sand and silt down every thoroughfare in town. The tile

roofs of homes and business establishments trapped pockets

of soil which in turn served as seed beds for spiny

cactus plants. The torrential rains brought momentary

respite from the billowing dust, but the streets were

soon converted into flowing rivers of mud. In 1966

paying was begun and gradually the sand was pushed back

onto the plains. Gutters now carry away the street over-

flows from heavy downpours, making the rains only a tem-

porary nuisance.

The outskirts of Santa Cruz, however, remain

much as the inner city was in earlier years, although

changes are being made. As money becomes available,

Obras Piiblicas lays a few more meters of sewer pipe

and seals the roadbed with locetas*--hexagonal-shaped

interlocking concrete blocks. As paying moves gradually

toward the perimeter of the city, neighborhoods vie for

political favors in order to be the first in the area to

have sewers laid and streets improved. Except in resi-

dential districts of greatest influence, however, the

*Aside from their curious honey-combed beauty,
the locetas are also extremely adaptive to the needs
of the city and to the lowland environment, reflecting
the intense tropical heat rather than absorbing it as
will an asphalt surface. Then too, the locetas are
eminently practical. Because they are movable units,
there is very little loss of material if additional
street excavation becomes necessary. The locetas
simply are placed to one side of the roadwork and then
repositioned when the task is completed.

completion of sewers and streets has -tended to move at

an equal pace in all sectors.

Settlement Zones

Four concentric circular throughways, called

anillos, have been superimposed over the basic quadri-

lateral plan of the city. Two of these roads are wide

and fast, enabling travelers to circumnavigate Santa

Cruz without having to pass through the congested down-

town areas. Like rings on a tree, the anillos mark

the outward growth of Santa Cruz. Various types of

settlement patterns are evident within the confines of

each anillo, and the nature of each is greatly determined

by the regional origins and economic status of the in-


The area enclosed by the first anillo, designated

for the purpose of this study Zone 1, is the oldest part

of Santa Cruz (see Figure 3). As previously mentioned,

this sector continues to be inhabited predominantly by

the old Cruceiian aristocracy, wealthy or otherwise.

The area immediately contiguous to the main plaza has

become primarily a commercial center, although many of

the owners of downtown establishments live on the

premises. Along with the old Camba families in Zone 1

are foreign immigrants engaged in commerce and a few



Figure 2. City of Santa Cruz Migrant Settlement Patterns

campesino families which have accumulated adequate capi-

tal to permit them to acquire a town house. The only

highland stronghold in this section of the city is

centered around Los Pozos market, in the northeast.

Like every open market in Santa Cruz, Los Pozos has

been taken over by highland entrepreneurs. While most

live 'in the migrant barrios outside of the second anillo,

many have secured homes in the immediate area of the

market. Others reside in the market proper, sleeping

in their small stalls. Two additional markets are

situated within the first anillo, Siete Calles and

Mercado Nuevo, both of which have also been dominated

by highland merchants. Unlike the Los Pozos case, how-

ever, highlanders have not settled around these markets,

for Siete Calles and Mercado Nuevo are located closer to

the center of town than is Los Pozos and are hemmed in

by established Camba businesses and residences. Hence,

most of the highland sellers have been unable to buy or

rent in this area and must commute from the periphery

of the city.

The second anillo is constructed of asphalt

and forms the major link between the highway to northern

Santa Cruz and the route to the interior which enters

the city from the southwest. The residents living in the

area between the first and second anillos (Zone 2) are

also primarily lowlanders, although some highlanders

have begun to acquire homes and shops within this

perimeter. The Cambas occupying Zone 2 are for the

most part lower-middle income residents, middle income

residents, and campesinos who migrated to Santa Cruz a

number of years ago when this area constituted the out-

skirts of the city. Also within the zone are the stadium,

half of the university (the other half is in Zone 3),

and the majority of entertainment facilities such as

restaurants, nightclubs and movie theaters. Homes here

tend to be single family dwellings and aside from being

of newer construction, look very much like those of

Zone 1. Because of the presence of the second anillo

and the Santa Cruz-Cochabamba highway, Zone 2 has become

the service center for the transportation industry.

Mechanics, parts shops, steam cleaning and lubrication

pits are all concentrated in this sector of the city.

Crosscutting both Zone 1 and Zone 2 is the Ave-

nida de 1as Amdricas, leading from the central business

district to the airport. Along this avenue and for

about three blocks on either side is situated one of the

three upper income residential areas in Santa Cruz.

Homes in the Am~ricas district are large and expensive,

and several are of unusual design. Wealthy Cruce~ans,

many of them nouveaux riches, as well as foreign immi-

grants and the resident diplomats in the city own or

rent dwellings along the avenue.

Two similar areas exist outside of the second

anillo in Zone 3. The first, known as Equipetrol, began

as part of the Gulf Oil camp where well-to-do oil execu-

tives built large, American-style houses. When the hold-

ings of Gulf 011 were expropriated in 1969, the American

colony vacated the site. Equipetrol became a second

residential area for the city's .elite, and has continued

to expand rapidly because of the vacant tracts of land

available nearby. Recently, a middle income housing

project called "Guapay" has been tacked on to the rear

of Equipetrol. These houses sell for US $10,000 to

$12,000 and may be purchased on a 20-year loan after

a modest down payment. Young professionals and middle

level bureaucrats, mostly Cruceiian, make their homes

there. The other upper income residential area located

in Zone 3 is the Urbanizaci6n Cooper, located just south

of Equipetrol. This was begun as a planned development

but never managed to quite get off the ground. The

streets were laid out and a few homes built, but the

majority of lots are overgrown and unimproved.

The city of Santa Cruz has now stabilized with-

in the confines of Zones 1 and 2. All of the streets

in Zone 1 have been paved and those of Zone 2 are about

to be completed. The greatest areas of flux lie outside

of the second anillo, in what are now the fringe areas

of the city. The remaining two anillos, three and four,

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