Page:The Present State of Peru.djvu/372

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from Potosi sixty leagues, and is the capital of the department. Its inhabitants, among whom are many Spaniards, are supported by the gold and silver mines of Choroma, Estarca, and other districts: they likewise act as carriers. Its agriculture, which finds a greater impediment in the local disposition of the territory, than in the temperature of the air, scarcely affords a small portion of maize, wheat, and papas[1].

At the side of Tupiza, and on the same parallel respectively to Potosi, lies the third parochial distridt, denominated Gran-Chocaya, in a temperature very similar to that of Pasco[2]. It contains several good mines, which are, however, but little wrought, on account of the want of Spaniards. It abounds in sheep and huanacos; but in other respedts the soil is unproductive, insomuch, that its derives the greater part of its subsistence from the succours afforded by the fertility of the adjacent spots of territory.

Santiago de Cotagaita is distant thirty-four leagues from Potosi, whither its inhabitants convey the produce of the charcoal they burn. By this branch of traffic, which is highly profitable, and by the carriage of goods, they are enabled to subsist. Its position, which lies between a river and a swampy tract on the route of Buenos Ayres, is incommodious; but it boasts a benign temperature. Its population is very numerous, and consists principally of mestizos, with a few Spaniards and Indians.

The fifth and last parochial district of la Puna is Calcha, distant from Potosi twenty leagues. Its native inhabitants

  1. Potatoes.
  2. See p. 61, et sequent.