Memories of a glorious past
Project info

Cachuela Esperanza on the banks of the Mamoré River has a unique history during the bustling period of rubber exploration in the Bolivian Amazon in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Considered as an ‘empire’ in the Bolivian Amazon, the fortunes extracteds from Cachuela Esperanza, were from the exploitation of rubber, chestnut and gold. The place on the banks of the rapids of the same name, named by the doctor and american explorer Edwin Heath in 1880, served as the base of a modern industrial and residential complex built by Nicolas Suarez Callau. In this complex, there were advances to the time, such as the telegraph, electricity, drinking water, a train and a modern hospital with X-ray.

Currently, Cachuela Esperanza has a little more than 1000 inhabitants. Many of the buildings and monuments of this period of fortune still stand the test of time. In 2014, the region suffered the historic flooding of the Mamoré River which damaged part of the city and in 2016 one of the complex’s buildings was destroyed by a fire.

This series shows what still resists and Cachuela Esperanza and the cachueleros, people who still inhabit this place that, between centuries XIX and XX, was the driving force of the Bolivian economy of that period.

Cachuela Esperanza, Beni, Bolivia.