BENI DEPARTMENT. General data, Economy, City of Trinidad, Cities and villages.
Beni was a very important center of pre-Colombian civilization known as the hydraulic culture of Las Lomas (the hills), a culture that constructed over 20,000 man-made artificial hills, all interconnected by thousands of square kilometers of aqueducts, channels, embankments, artificial lakes and lagoons, and terraces. Between about 4000 BC (and probably earlier as this date is taken from ceramics that have been carbon dated) and the 13th Century AD this region was settled by important and organized groups of human societies. Their civil structures were based, both environmentally and economically, on the use of specific environmental characteristics (such as the use of aquatic plants as fertilizer, and enormous fishing systems they constructed). You can still see miles and miles of these channels and man-made hills if you fly low over Beni. When the Spanish arrived, the region had already been in decline for about three hundred years. However, this is where many products that are now used worldwide have their origin, among them tobacco, peanuts, cotton, cassava (manioc), vanilla and sweet potatoes. The Spanish initially were intensely interested in this area. During the first century of colonization, they believed the mythical city of El Dorado (also known as Paitití) could be found in this region.
STATISTICAL DATA OF BENI DEPARTMENT: