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Thesis or internship in cooperation with the indigenous Mosetežn people in Bolivia (OPIM)

Publicerad 2016-05-06

Om uppdragsgivaren
About OPIM
OPIM stands for the Organizaciožn de Pueblos Indigenas de Mosetežn and is the organization that represents the Mosetežn people. The organization also works for their social and political rights. The organization was founded in 1994 and is led by a president who is elected by the population every two years.

OPIM is the highest authority in the TCO Mosetežn and all issues relating to the TCO MosMosetežn must therefore go through the organization.

About the Mosetežn people
The Mosetežn people are an indigenous, Bolivian group and consists of a population of about 5 000 people. The group is living in the TCO Mosetežn, in the Bolivian Amazon, six hours from La Paz, in the municipality of Palos Blancos.
Since 2001, the area is classified as TCO, Tierra Comunitaria de Origen, which is a term for autonomous and collective-owned lands among indigenous people in Bolivia.

TCO Mosetežn is divided into two sectors and fourteen communities. Each community has its chief, cacique, who is elected each year by the population. Most communities can be reached by car from the village of Palos Blancos on 1-3 hours. The most remote communities have no road access and can only be reached by canoe or a walk on about eight hours through the jungle.

The Mosetežn group has historically suffered from social, cultural and economic discrimination. Their situation is slowly improving, but there are still substantial needs in the area. In most communities there are serious deficiencies in education and health care. In some communities, there is no access to water in the houses, instead it has to be brought from the nearest river.

There are no toilets or functioning garbage disposal in several communities. There is also a shortage of electricity, telephones and Internet. Moreover, mining and oil extraction projects in the area have led to water pollution and other environmental damages.

Beskrivning av examensarbetet
OPIM is looking for students for thesis projects at bachelor, master and PHD level as well as internship students in a wide range of topics. The thesis should be beneficial for both the student and the Mosetežns. Here below can you find a list of some thesis suggestions. OPIM is also positive about further ideas and suggestions from students regarding perspectives and research topics.

Engineers, geologists and architects
Water and sanitation project
- Examine the status of the areaīs water resources, such as groundwater, lagoons, ponds and rivers
- Identify water pollution and its origins
- Plan and implement water treatment projects
- Plan and implement training programs for the population about water pollution and other environmental damages
- Plan and implement projects for the expansion of sewage systems and toilets
- Plan and develop a garbage disposal for solid and organic waste
- Identify funding partners for these projects and apply for grants

Electric Power Development
In many communities there is no electricity. Some communities do have a couple of solar panels from previous projects in the area. Solar panels and other energy sources is something OPIM wants to expand in the communities.
- Investigate the possibilities and create projects for electric power development

Architecture and Construction Management
- Design and implement the construction of health centers, schools, tourist cottages and renovate tourist cottages
- Identify funding partners for these projects and apply for grants

Timber Exports
In the TCO Mosetežn there are a large amount of trees and some are very rare - Identify the trees in the area for sale
- Identify and develop a future market for timber exports
Trade and Innovation
- Identify products from TCO Mosetežn for sale, such as local handicrafts, textiles and art objects
- Identify and develop future export markets for these products. The emphasis should be on fair trade

Production Projects
OPIM wishes to create a market of products of fruits and cereals from the area, such as different kinds of juices, wines and flours
- Identify and develop products for sale
- Identify and develop future export markets for these products
- Identify funding partners for these activities and apply for grants

Tourism and Marketing
OPIM is currently planning to create a tourist market in the area. The plan is to build tourist cottages, renovate the existing tourist cottages as well as offer activities for tourists. Suggested activities are jungle trekking, mountain climbing, tours to see exotic animals such as jaguars, monkeys and birds, participate in typical activities such as craft-making.
- Plan and develop a tourist market in the area. The emphasis should be on ecologically and sustainable tourism
- Promote the tourism activities internationally, such as via the Internet

In the TCO Mosetežn there are several archaeological sites to be found that are not yet investigated. For example, there are hieroglyphs and unexcavated areas where bone fragments and other items can be found.
- Investigate and document the cave paintings and hieroglyphics
- Plan and carry out excavations and examine the archaeological finds
- Create a memorial/museum to preserve the archaeological finds

Identity, history, dance and music
The Mosetežn group has a large number of oral traditions, containing stories and myths. A large part of these are undocumented. Also other traditions such as culture, music and dances remain to be documented for future generations. Furthermore, there is an ongoing change in the identity, todayīs young people do not identify themselves in the same way as previous generations. The groupīs language, Mosetežn, is nowadays almost exclusively known by the oldest generation. OPIM therefore works for the young people to learn the language. One project has been implemented together with UNICEF on the issue.
- Investigate and document the Mosetežns oral traditions, such as stories and myths, as well as cultural expressions such as dance and music
- Investigate the identity change between the younger and older generation in the area
- Develop and implement projects with children and teenagers about the culture identity and the importance of preserving the language Mosetežn

Film, sound and photography
- Document the cultural expressions of the Mosete&769;nes, such as dance and music, in film, photography or audio formats
- Create for example a short film about the Mosetežn people and their way of life

The student is responsible and fund his/her travel to and from Bolivia, as well as travel within the country, vaccinations, insurance and visa application. No compensation is offered to the student.

The students should be able to communicate in Spanish orally and in writing. Otherwise, the student can contact Ellen Svensson,, regarding an interpreter.

There is no final date for the application for thesis projects, the applications are accepted continuously.

OPIM provides
Write a thesis in cooperation with OPIM provides an invaluable opportunity to learn more about one of Boliviaīs indigenous people in the field.

OPIM offers a contact person who is going to be present during the whole research process.

The student stays in a hotel in Palos Blancos and pays for hotel and meals hotel costs approximately 30-100SEK/night and meals approximately 10-20SEK.

In Palos Blancos there is a small selection of hotels, restaurants and shops.

David Mayto

OPIM, Palos Blancos, Provincia Sud Yungas del Departamento de La Paz, C/ Cochabamba, s/n

Organizaciožn de Pueblos Indižgenas de Mosetežn (OPIM)


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