Report by Esmir Cortez Becerra – Photos by Jorge Uechi and APG News for El Deber:
A heaven above invites visitors to know its natural beauty, more than 6,000 meters above sea level.
A cold wind that pierces to the bone receives the visitors of the Sajama. There, at the foot of the highest snowcapped in Bolivia (6,542 m.a.s.l.), where the brown landscape combines perfectly with the dry, cold, frozen earth, no human life.
In this area also live alpacas, llamas and vicuñas, which are the main food and economic activity of the five communities that make up the Sajama National Park, located in the northeast of Oruro.
In recent years adventure tourism has become an alternative income for its inhabitants; however, there is lack of internal and external promotion to attract visitors.
“We need to be known more in Bolivia and outside our country. We do not have internet “, Amalia Marca, receptionist at the community shelter at Tomarapi, laments.
But despite the few conditions that they have, its inhabitants are given ways to deal with quality and warmth to visitors. At each tour stop and the Andean ritual offerings to the Pachamama can not be missed.
Then the women, dressed in black sweaters and wool skirts or brown, are responsible for offering herbal tea to warm up, given the low temperatures that are usually below freezing. A typical banquet meal of llama meat can not be missed.
Culture and tradition
Before joining orureño territory on both sides of the road Patacamaya – Tambo Quemado (even paceño ground) are the first chullpas, a kind of mausoleum for exclusive notables Aymara families of past centuries. EXTRA [El Deber’s section] found that in some remain human bones.
Continuing the route, you should make an inevitable detour to enter the town of Curahuara Carangas. There, in the capital of the province Sajama, the only Bolivia Sistine Chapel, an architectural treasure of the seventeenth century stands. Its restoration was through Spanish and French missionaries.
About Dr. Sajama, as the locals call the imposing snowy, there is nothing to interfere to appreciate nature and landscape composed of rough straw, queñua trees, llamas, alpacas and an arid desert that seems made brush to distance.
The geysers (which look like small volcanoes) Wallaqueri area with its warm waters attract and strangers with a fascinating show. Some even dare to cook chicken eggs with the smoky steam.
Although all swaddled moving through the region, the tourists who come to the hot ponds of Manasaya do not miss an opportunity to take a dip. The residents say their water has properties, medicinal so the visitor is authorized to remain there for as long as necessary. [to watch this video, please use the link of the original news, down below, thank you]
The characteristics of the area, the residents of Park Sajama frown over the projects promoted by the Vice Ministry of Tourism.
The construction of the Camelid Interpretation Center, a Geological Survey, iconic signs and improvement in service points, bring hope to the people of the majestic Sajama.