Ayopaya is a real jack-in-the-box, full of surprizes, the recent news from this far away and little known province confirm this telling us of arquelogical treasures and unsuspected economical resources.
The writer and lawyer Renato Crespo Paniagua details a profile of Ayopaya, one of the richest and most forgotten provinces of the departament. Author of the novel "The island of José Miguel”, which tells aobut the civil fights between morochateños and “independantists” for the capital of the province towards the end of last century, Crespo Paniagua reflects about the destruction of the forests, the beauty of the landscape in the province, and some paradojic happenings as the construction of a 300 thousand dollar church, in contrast with the extreme poverty of the farmer communities.
The two sections in which the province divides, Independencia and Morochata, present a surprizing variety of geographical contours, from the lowlands unitl the tropics, passing throught the interandine valleys and lowlands. It is one of the biggest provinces and with a low population density.Because of its economical and social activities we could say that it is in the summit of underdevelopment. It is difficult to imagine the measure of poverty which most part of the indian population suffers, surviving in a permanent state of malnutrition. Nevertheless, these people do not extinguish even with the undernourishment and sicknesses. A big territory to the north of the province, rich in very tall trees is almost completely uninhabited. Its green richness, made up of tropical lowlands, is a continuation of the amazonic basin. Wood companies from La Paz and Beni exploit this forest causing severe ecological damage. Gral. Alfredo Ovando Candi, as president of Bolivia was the one to inaugurate the road to the Independance Town, a few years later the road had to be closed due to lack of maintenance. Nowadays to reach the capital of the province your have to travel toward the south up to Confital for one hundred kilometers, on the paved road to Oruro. From there you come back to the north by a dirt road, which in part gets up to 5.000 meters of height, in the highland zone, to go down to 2.500 meters. This situation continues for more than ten years, without a possible solution in sight.
The old Palca has an electrical service from 18 to 22 hours. The energy comes from two sources: from a diesel motor which is in charge of the Mayor's Office and another motor of the same characteristics, which belongs to a German religious organization. Not everything is depressing. The Ayopayamanta Cultural Center promotes many activities, “The Voice of the Andes”, gives important services in this zone, it promotes the development of folkloric music and is implementing a liberary. It has a collection of movies which has no equivalent in Bolivia 3.000 productions from all the world and many other videos. This institution gives material help for the town.
They have told usthat in Cocapata there are some farmer communities which speak three languages (aymara, quechua y castellano) which are dedicated to raising wool cattle. Due to the system of exchange of meat, wool and fertilizer with products from neighbor valleys, have achieved a great material and cultural development. We know that the capital town of the province doesn't conserve much of the colonial arquitecture due to fires and destruction caused by the indian uprisings of Tupac Amaru and since it was main scenario of the independance guerrillas headed by Lanza, Lira and Chinchilla, in a fight which lasted fifteen years.