Located in the southern intersalar region of the department of Oruro, one of the nine into which Bolivia is divided, Mancomunidad Azanaques is an autonomous organization of six municipal districts: Challapata, Huari, Pampa Aullagas, Pazña, Santuário de Quillacas and Salinas de Garcí Mendoza. The Human Development Index (HDI) of these districts varies between 0.594 (Pazña) and 0.498 (Santuário de Quillacas).
The HDI is one of the indices adopted by the United Nations Human Development Program (UNDP). It takes into account social, cultural and political characteristics that impact society’s quality of life, as well as economic factors, to measure a country’s development. It ranges from zero to one, with countries classified into three groups: high, from 0.800 to 1; medium, from 0.500 to 0.799; and low, from 0.000 to 0.499. Bolivia’s average HDI is 0.687. Latin America’s average is 0.797.
Bolivian legislation dictates that State assistance for municipal districts is determined by the number of inhabitants. Districts are permitted to form associations to influence the political decisions of the department and share the resources earmarked by the State, as is the case with Mancomunidad.
Together, these municipal districts cover an area of 16,225 square kilometers that is home to 55,487 people (14% of the department’s population). Of these, 20,349 are young people, 14,446 of which are of school age.
Nearly 60% of the department’s population is of indigenous descent. In Mancomunidad, the most spoken languages are Spanish, Aymara and Quechua – the three official languages of Bolivia.
The executive board of Mancomunidad consists of six local mayors. It governs the region with the help of an Advisory Board, comprised of advisers chosen from among the organizations involved with Mancomunidad, and another board, called the Social Review Board, formed by committees of residents chosen for this purpose. The decentralization of power has helped raise community participation in the running of the Mancomunidad municipal districts.