The seventh meeting of Latin American Scarabaeoidology
was held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia in mid-November
2006. About 70 people were in attendance from Mexico, Guatemala,
Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Canada,
USA, France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, and South Africa.
There were ten posters exhibited, and 42 scientific papers were
presented. Caroli Hamel and Sebastian Herzog did an amazing job
of organizing, hosting, and caring for all of the minute details
that made for an extremely successful meeting. Their efforts
were greatly appreciated by all.
Santa Cruz, a bustling small
city, is on the east side of the Andes about 17º south of the equator
and 400 meters in elevation. The climate was warm (pleasantly so from the perspective
of a North American coming from a winter climate). The excellent meeting facility
was the Hotel Casa Kolping, a modest hotel with meeting rooms, bar, and restaurant.
A break for refreshments was held on the hotel’s inner court yard at
mid-morning and mid-afternoon of each meeting day, where a lot of informal,
convivial discussions were held with colleagues.
The last day of the formal
presentations concluded on Wednesday with informal discussions about various
topics but focusing mostly on the dilemma of obtaining collecting and export
permits in many countries. Lively exchanges took place as one might imagine.
Ideas for the location of the next RELAS were put forward (Panama, Peru, Bolivia
again, Guatemala again), but a locale has not yet been decided.
Thursday was the “field
trip” day (see "Salida al campo" section). A farewell
dinner at a buffet restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz ended the day, and there
was much toasting, regaling of field experiences, planning for future collaborative
ventures, and genuine collegiality. These were very successful meetings.