Hispanic Heritage Month: The Garden’s Bolivia Program

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re having a month-long series focused on our work in Latin America. This week, we’re learning about the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Bolivia program!

The Heart of Our Mission in Bolivia

Our Bolivia program, like other Latin American initiatives, aims to understand and preserve the rich variety of plant life and the ecosystems they belong to.

Our Dedicated Team in Bolivia

Our team in Bolivia consists of passionate individuals:

Alfredo Fuentes: The expert on identifying plants.

Leslie Cayola: Oversees the smooth running of the program.

Claudia Aldana: Specializes in studying mosses.

Esther Mosqueira: Assists in both field and lab work.

Tatiana Miranda & Ana Antezana: Maintain our unique collection of plants.

A Collaboration for Progress

In Bolivia, the Missouri Botanical Garden has formed a meaningful partnership with the National Herbarium of Bolivia. This alliance is mutually rewarding, serving as a beacon of collaborative success. Every milestone we’ve reached has been made possible through the strength and synergy of this association, reflecting our shared commitment to botanical exploration and conservation.

Milestones and Discoveries

Our team has brought forth the Catalog of Bolivia’s Vascular Plants, a comprehensive guide to the country’s plant biodiversity, listing nearly 15,000 native species, with 2,350 being unique to Bolivia!

They’ve also spearheaded the Madidi Project, a vast study exploring various plant species in more than 500 locations, discovering many new species and offering insights into the Andean forests’ functioning and their responses to environmental changes, such as deforestation and climate change.

New Ventures and Studies

Our latest collaboration with Bolivian scientist Silvia Gallegos, focuses on understanding how plant species react to environmental shifts and explores the dynamics of invasive species and forest rehabilitation in the Bolivian Andes. This promising venture aims to employ research to aid in the recovery of forests impacted by human activities and climate change.

Educating and Empowering the Next Generation

A constant in our journey has been the emphasis on education, with our team in Bolivia supporting over 70 students in developing research projects and sharing knowledge with diverse groups, ranging from children to policymakers, ensuring a ripple effect of our conservation efforts.

Final Thoughts

The Bolivia team’s relentless pursuit of knowledge and conservation has been a beacon of progress, providing invaluable insights and making commendable advancements in preserving plant species and their habitats. Their tireless efforts are a source of inspiration, earning them immense gratitude from the global community of botanists and conservationists.

Let’s celebrate the exemplary work and the promising future of our Bolivia initiative, as we continue to explore, learn, and protect the diverse and invaluable ecosystems of Latin America!

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