Ecolodge Located in the heart of the Madidi National Park.
Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza - Bolivia
|Background: Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon
BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent
history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and counter-coups.
Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s, but
leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social
unrest, and drug production. Current goals include attracting foreign
investment, strengthening the educational system, continuing the
privatization program, and waging an anti-corruption campaign.
Government type: republic
Capital: La Paz (seat of government); Sucre (legal capital and seat of judiciary)
Currency: 1 boliviano ($B) = 100 centavos
Geography of Bolivia
Location: Central South America, southwest of Brazil
People of Bolivia
Bolivia's ethnic distribution is estimated to be 56%-70% indigenous people and 30%-42% European and mixed. The largest of the approximately three dozen indigenous groups are the Aymara, Quechua, and Guarani. There are small German, former Yugoslav, Asian, Middle Eastern, and other minorities, many of whose members descend from families that have lived in Bolivia for several generations.
The great majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic (the official religion), although Protestant denominations are expanding strongly. Many indigenous communities interweave pre-Columbian and Christian symbols in their religious practices. About half of the people speak Spanish as their first language. Approximately 90% of the children attend primary school but often for a year or less. The literacy rate is low in many rural areas.
The cultural development of what is present-day Bolivia is divided into three distinct periods: pre-Columbian, colonial, and republican. Important archaeological ruins, gold and silver ornaments, stone monuments, ceramics, and weavings remain from several important pre-Columbian cultures. Major ruins include Tiwanaku, Samaipata, Incallajta, and Iskanwaya. The country abounds in other sites that are difficult to reach and hardly explored by archaeologists.
Bolivia has rich folklore. Its regional folk music is distinctive and varied. The devil dances at the annual carnival of Oruro are one of the great folkloric events of South America, as is the lesser known carnival at Tarabuco.
Population: 8,857,870 (July 2005 est.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Bolivia > Map Economy History