Opened in 1995, the Simón I. Patiño Centre for Applied Ecology is dedicated to the promotion and development of agro-ecological farming methods on shallow sandy soils that are very poor in nutrients and exhausted by years of intensive monoculture.
Our centre also works on rehabilitating and establishing a viable gene pool of Criollo cattle. This breed, now almost extinct, was Introduced to Latin America more than 500 years ago and “improved” over time by the cross-breeding of European and Asian herds. Its inestimable value, due to its capacity to adapt to tropical climatic conditions, and its resistance to diseases, makes it an ideal source of meat and dairy produce for small farmers in a tropical environment.
The farming and cattle rearing methods developed by our centre are systematically transferred to local communities, students and Bolivian and international researchers.
The Centre, located on the outskirts of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and next to the Lomas de Arena regional natural park, is one of the city's last remaining protected green areas.