Ancestral coca in Yungas, Bolivia

Coca leaves are popular for consumption, as coca has nutritional and medicinal qualities. But coca can only grow in certain circumstances, with right altitude and climate, like in Yungas, Bolivia. For these exclusive regions where coca can be cultivated, coca also is of economic importance.

Don Guzman proudly explains the importance of coca for his community: “Coca has been here for thousands of years, that’s why we call this area ‘zona milenaria, originaria, ancestral’. For centuries we trade coca with other products, like dried llama meat from the highlands, or currently with rice from the east of the province.” 

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