Tarija

Tarija

Tarija or San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa is a city in southern Bolivia. Founded in 1574, Tarija is the largest city and capital and municipality within the Tarija Department, with an airport (Capitán Oriel Lea Plaza Airport, (TJA)) offering regular service to primary Bolivian cities, as well as a regional bus terminal with domestic and international connections. Its climate is semi-arid (BSh) with generally mild temperatures in contrast to the harsh cold of the Altiplano (e.g., La Paz) and the year-round humid heat of the Amazon Basin (e.g., Santa Cruz de la Sierra). Tarija has a population of 234,442.[2] The name of Tarija is said to come from Francisco de Tarija or Tarifa. This group did not include anyone by the name of Francisco de Tarija. Similar-sounding toponyms exist for surrounding places, such as Tariquia and Taxara. In 1826 the citizens of Tarija voted to become part of Bolivia. In 1807, Tarija had become separated from Upper Peru to become part of the jurisdiction of Salta (part of Argentina), but because of its close ties to what became Bolivia, it returned to its original jurisdiction.[3] In 1899, Argentina renounced its claims in exchange for the Puna de Atacama. The valley that Tarija is situated in was first occupied by Western Hemispheric indigenous groups, such as the Churumatas. Subsequently, the Inca Empire – administered by the Quechua civilization – conquered the land and dispersed the Churumatas and other local groups over wide territories of the Andes. Mitimaes is the Quechuan name that the Incas used for the resisting ethnic groups they uprooted and then dispersed geographically. The Tomatas are thought to have been brought to San Juan del Oro River in the vicinities of Tarija from Norte Chico, Chile.[4] The Tomatas appear to have given placenames from their old lands to their new area of settlement thus explaining the existence of "Chilean" placenames such as Loa, Calama, and Erqui (Elqui) in Bolivia.[4] In 1574 conquistador Luis de Fuentes resettled the Tomatas next to the city Tarija.[4]