Friday, September 21, 2012
About the photograph
The photograph at the top of the page was taken on June 30, 2008, at 4:12 in the afternoon, while crossing the Quinato swamp, near Santa Ana del Yacuma, Bolivia. After a day of motorcycle travel and conversation with the residents of Miraflores, a small community on the edge of the wetland, my colleague Jaime Bocchietti and I headed back to where our motorcycle was parked. We still had at least a one hour ride to get back to town after getting back on the motorcycle, so I certainly had one eye on my watch to make sure that we would arrive before dark. The swamp holds water year-round, even through the dry season, which is very pronounced in Eastern Bolivia. The “shores” of the well defined swamp are lined with islands of forest, as well as drier grasslands. The forests are full of ceramics and earthworks, indicating that they were occupied in pre-Columbian times, and the grasslands are marked by raised fields, the remains of intensive agriculture.