The Chaco – South America’s final frontier. Its dry forests run nearly uninterrupted from the pampas of Argentina to the mighty Amazon. Since time immemorial, The Chaco has been home – first to bands of nomadic hunters known as the Guaycuru, to indigenous groups such as the Guaraní, Chiquitanos, Ayoreos, Tapiete, and Weenhayek, and finally to the Spanish and criollos. The indomitable spirit that made the Chaco a wild and rebellious frontier during colonial times is alive and well today. Chaqueños are a self-sufficient, proud, and gregarious lot, whose lifestyle remains predominantly agrarian.
In recent years, however, a natural gas boom has brought unprecedented levels of growth and urbanization to the Chaco. Chaqueños are now seeking a balance between development and the conservation of their unique natural and cultural patrimony.
The Chaco Fund seeks to unlock the potential of young Bolivian women by empowering leaders, promoting self-determination, and creating advocates for rural communities. Whatever the future holds, we hope that it is bien Chaqueño – true to its roots. We take the culture of our organization from the region that we support. We believe in rural livelihoods, which is why our Community Leaders Scholars return to their home villages following graduation to apply the skills and experience they’ve gained.