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Story Publication logo August 14, 2023

Bolivia’s Invisible Amazon and Its Guardians Who Won't Give Up (Spanish)

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In the Bolivian Amazon jungle, Indigenous guardians fight against deforestation, fires, drug...

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This story excerpt was translated from Spanish. To read the original story in full, visit Revista Nómadas. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.



The majesty of the Bolivian Amazon, embraced by rivers and Indigenous communities. Image by Karina Segovia/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Indigenous people struggle against the multiple threats that threaten their home. Voracious deforestation, forest fires, drug trafficking, and river pollution threaten their sacred land. With courage and ancestral connection, these guardians of the forest resist, protecting the lungs of the planet and defending their right to live in harmony with nature.


Here, the tail of evil climbs up the branches of the trees and spies through the small windows of the Indigenous people's huts, to try to get into their deep dreams that only the forest grants.

Here, in the Bolivian Amazon—unknown to the world—evil has different faces and teeth and its telltale eye strives to discover the guardians of the jungle, who do not give up.

When he has them in his sights, he goes after them, makes their lives miserable and raises hell for them, makes them feel threatened in their own home and chases them wherever they go. But the strength with which the custodians of the South American Amazon, the largest tropical forest in the world, of which Bolivia has 824,000 square kilometers, which represents 70 percent of its national territory and 11 percent of the entire continental Amazon basin, does not falter before the onslaught with which evil tries to tear down the protective shield that the Indigenous people inherited from their ancestors.


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Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

The evil, in this remote part of the planet, is represented by the excessive appetite for deforestation that places Bolivia among the three countries in the world with the greatest loss of its primary tropical forest in 2022—according to the report presented by Global Forest Watch of the World Resources Institute—386,000 hectares (3,860 km2) were destroyed, an increase of 32% compared to 2021.

In Bolivia, in just one year—2022—the primary tropical forest has been cleared at a rate comparable to 1,057 soccer fields per day.

Every day, without rest or quarantine.


Dionicia Herbi, a Yuracaré Indigenous woman. Image by Karina Segovia/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Illustration by Revista Nómadas.

Illustration by Revista Nómadas.

Ahlfeld Waterfall, in Noel Kempff Mercado National Park. Image by Karina Segovia/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

La Victoria Boliviana, emblem of the northern Amazonian region of Bolivia. Image by Karina Segovia/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Agricultural production in forested land, in the middle of the Bolivian Amazon. Image by Karina Segovia/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Marcos Uzquiano, park ranger threatened by miners. Image by Lisa Corti/Revista Nómadas. 2023.

Maida Peña, excacique of Porvenir. Image by Clovis De la Jaille/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Indigenous people living on the banks of the Beni river go out to sell their products. Image by Lisa Corti/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

What used to be forests, is now land with no shade at all. Image by Karina Segovia/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Capybaras bathe in the remaining wetlands. Image by Lisa Corti/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Near the Santa Rosa lagoon, mushrooms paint the forest with colors. Image by Lisa Corti/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

Mining in Amazonian rivers is polluting and destroying nature. Image by Manuel Seoane/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

As the sun sets, a spectacle of colors is generated in the Normandy Lagoon. Image by Lisa Corti/Revista Nómadas. Bolivia, 2023.

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