Turco Municipality

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Turco Municipality
Darwin's rhea (Rhea pennata garleppi) photographed at the Tika Uta ranch, Turco Municipality
Darwin's rhea (Rhea pennata garleppi) photographed at the Tika Uta ranch, Turco Municipality
Turco Municipality is located in Bolivia
Turco Municipality
Turco Municipality
Location of the Turco Municipality within Bolivia
Coordinates: 18°10′S 68°11′W / 18.167°S 68.183°W / -18.167; -68.183Coordinates: 18°10′S 68°11′W / 18.167°S 68.183°W / -18.167; -68.183
Country Flag of Bolivia.svg Bolivia
Department Oruro Department
Province Sajama Province
Cantons 4
Created February 15, 1957
Seat Turco
 • Total 1,534 sq mi (3,973 km2)
Elevation 12,660 ft (3,860 m)
Population (2001)
 • Total 4,160
 • Ethnicities Aymara
Main square of Turco

Turco Municipality is the second municipal section of the Sajama Province in the Oruro Department in Bolivia, and was founded on February 15, 1957.[1] Its seat is Turco, situated 154 km west of Oruro at an altitude of 3,860 m. The municipality covers an area of 3,973 km², not taking into account the area of Laca Laca Canton.[1][2]

It is bordered to the north by the Curahuara de Carangas Municipality and San Pedro de Totora Province, to the south by the Litoral and Sabaya Provinces, to the west by Chile and to the east by the Carangas Province (Qhurqhi (Corque) and Chuqi Quta (Choquecota) Municipalities).


The most important rivers are Sajama, Cosapa, Lauca, K'uwiri and Qullpa Jawira (also named río Turco, Turco River) .

A couple of volcanoes and mountains of the Bolivian Western Mountain Range like Uqi Uqini and the volcanic complex of Kimsa Chata, a group of three mountains named Umurata, Acotango and Capurata in the west of the municipality are making up the natural border of Turco Municipality with Chile. Other mountains are listed below:[3]


The municipality is divided into four cantons and nine ayllus.

Canton Created [1] Inhabitants (2001) [4]
Asunción Laca Laca December 21, 1962 342
Chachakumani August 30, 1957 374
Cosapa November 11, 1950 918
Turco July 27, 1951 2,526

Flora and Fauna[edit]

Polylepis tarapacana near Sajama volcano
Tunilla soehrensii

Part of Cosapa Canton is situated within Sajama National Park.[5] This park was created to conserve the rare woods of the queñua species Polylepis tarapacana and to protect species of wild flora and fauna like yareta (Azorella compacta), Andean hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus nationi), Darwin's rhea (Pterocnemia pennata), vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis), Andean mountain cat (Felis jacobita) and cougar or puma (Felis concolor), all of them occurring in the municipality,[1] as well as their habitat.

The region has a rich diversity of native plants which are both useful for the inhabitants and the animals. The most important species are:[1]

Common name Scientific name Usability
Añawaya Adesmia spinosissima forage for llamas
Waylla Stipa obtusa forage for llamas
Ichu Stipa ichu forage, handicraft
Iru ichu Festuca orthophylla forage, handicraft
Qanlli kiska Tetraglochin cristatum forage
Chillka Senecio pampae forage, medical plant
Yarita, yareta Azorella asorella medical plant, heating material
Tara tara Fabiana densa medical plant, heating material
Ñaka thula Baccharis incarum medical plant, heating material
Supu thula Parastrephya lepidophylla medical plant, heating material
Ayrampu Opuntia soehrensii / Tunilla soehrensii medical plant, forage
Muña muña Satureja ovata medical plant, forage
Itapallu Cajophora horrida medical plant, forage
Kinwa, queñua Polylepis tarapacana forage, heating material, ornamental
Chachakuma Escallonia resinosa medical plant
Llapa, pasto bandera Boutelova simplex forage
Yawarilla, cebadilla común Bromus unioloides forage
Cebadilla de montaña Agrostis breviculmis forage
Chiji blanco Distichlis humilis forage
Chiji negro Mulenbergia fastigiata forage
Garbancillo Astragalus garbancillo toxic
Lampaya Lampaya medicinalis medical plant, forage, heating material
Qura Cajophora horrida forage
K’achu Anoda triangularis forage

The people[edit]

Most of the people in the municipality are of Aymara descent known as Carangas. They are mostly bilingual. According to census 2001 the main languages spoken are Spanish (3,544 speakers) and Aymara (3,259 speakers).[4]


Route 4 (Ruta 4) near Tambo Quemado with Sajama volcano in the background

The international transit road from Oruro to Chile crosses Turco Municipality leading to Tambo Quemado situated in the Chachacomani Canton in the north-western part of the municipality [1][6] at the border between Chile and Bolivia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Plan de desarollo municipal Municipio de Turco (Spanish)
  2. ^ The data of the area of Laca Laca Canton were erroneously added to the Choquecota Municipality during the census of 2001.
  3. ^ Bolivian IGM map 1:50,000 Chachacomani Hoja 5838-IV, Cerro Uyarani Hoja 5838-I, Estancia Antin Curahuara 5939-III, Estancia Agua Rica Hoja 5839-II, Estancia Laguna 5839-III, Estancia Marcarani 5939-IV, Estancia Miraflores 5838-II, Nevado Quimsachata Hoja 5738-I
  4. ^ a b Instituto Nacional de Estadistica de Bolivia (INE) (Spanish)
  5. ^ Mireya Muñoz, El Parque Nacional Sajama: Un caso de paisaje cultural en el altiplano de Bolivia p. 194
  6. ^ In the map below Tambo Quemado erroneously is shown as part of Lagunas Canton in the Curahuara de Carangas Municipality (Sajama Province), but actually belongs to Turco Municipality.

External links[edit]