Colonel John Blashford-Snell CBE – Bolivia Quest 2022


The Bolivian Amazonas area is one of the least known areas of this challenging country. The Beni river flows down from the towering Andes in to the rain forest pampa, swamps and lakes of North Eastern Bolivia, before meandering on to join the Amazon in Brazil. In the past 20 years, John Blashford-Snell has carried out a number of expeditions to the remote parts of this area and has been able to help a number of poor communities.


Tres Hermanos and School


Now John has been asked to assist the village of Tres Hermanos on the Beni river. There are 17 families here with around 94 people who urgently need their primary school refurbished and a clean water supply put into operation. Some while ago, contractors started to install a water supply system. A 30ft tower was built and a pump installed, but before the system was complete, funds ran out. Now the tower needs a 5,000 litre water tank. The villagers have no funds but are prepared to work on the project with some expert guidance. As a result, John plans to mount an expedition to repair and refurbish the school, bring in reading glasses for those in need and books for the school. He also aims to install a water storage tank. The cost is estimated at $9,400 with material being brought in by large canoes. In addition, John's team should include a doctor and a dentist to aid the local people. At the same time, John plans to carry out a reconnaissance of some interesting little-known archaeological sites and study the wildlife in the region with a view to launching a larger scale expedition for the benefit of the area in the future. Of particular interest are the reports of a large, aggressive aquatic creature, possibly a type of caimen (alligator) that the expedition will investigate.




The expedition has been postponed twice due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and it will now take place from 22 October to 13 November 2022. The team plans to assemble in La Paz, capital of Bolivia, visit one of the world’s highest navigable lakes, the sacred Titicaca (12,675ft) and the legendary Andean city of Tiahuanaco. The team will then fly to the ancient trading post, Rurrenabaque, the ‘Gateway of the Amazon’ and moving by local canoes to Tres Hermanos to oversee the completion of the work there, examine archaeological sites and use camera traps to study the wildlife. A fundraising team have events planned to raise the funds for the aid to the village. This is a very worthwhile project and John is now seeking up to 8 self-funded volunteers to join the team. For further details, please contact John Blashford-Snell (01747 854456 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 


SES members and all other participants in SES Endorsed Expeditions take part at their own risk, and will not hold SES, its trustees, employees, volunteers, partners or agents liable (whether in contract or in tort or in negligence or for breach of statutory duty or otherwise) for any loss, damage, personal injury, delay or expense suffered or incurred on any such expedition. SES endorses the aims and objectives of these expeditions only.