chapter  8
Unequal Exchange: The Dynamics of Settler Impoverishment and Environmental Destruction in Lowland Bolivia 1
WithMichael Painter
Pages 28

The San Julian settlement project is located in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia, some 150 kilometers northeast of the city of Santa Cruz. Since its beginning, in 1972, the project has become the home of approximately 5,436 people residing in 1,661 family units. The San Julian project was conducted under the general direction of Bolivia's National Colonization Institute, and it received some $9 million in support from the US Agency for International Development in Bolivia. In addition, development planners focused on rice and corn as the basis for smallholder production systems. Santa Cruz had become one of South America's important centers of cotton production, although enthusiasm for this crop has tended to wane since 1975, when a precipitous drop in prices exacted a heavy toll on the enterprises involved in its production. Many of the people who originally went to Santa Cruz as seasonal wage laborers remained there as settlers.