Bolivia

Capital: Sucre
President: Evo Morales
National Anthem : Bolivianos
Currency :Bolivian boliviano
Continent: Americas, South America

Country Name

  • Conventional long form: Republic of Bolivia
  • Conventional short form: Bolivia
  • Local long form: Republica de Bolivia
  • Local short form: Bolivia

Etymology

  • Bolivia was named after its liberator, Simón Bolívar.

History

  • The Incas were the original inhabitants of the region.
  • The Incan Kingdom was conquered by the Spaniards in the 16th century.
  • The Spanish rulers established colonies in the region in order to exploit the natural resources.
  • The Spaniards dominated the native Indians and forced them into slavery.
  • The country gained independence in 1825.
  • Due to political instability in the nation, Bolivia lost large parts of its mineral rich lands to neighboring countries.
  • In 1965, a guerrilla movement led by Maj. Ernesto (Ché) Guevara began a revolutionary war.
  • The Bolivian army fought against the guerillas with help from the U.S military.
  • Che Guevara was captured and killed on Oct. 8, 1967.
  • Civilian rule was established in 1982 after a series of military coups.
  • Internal strife made Bolivia the poorest nation in the world.
  • Hugo Bánzer became president in 1997.
  • Bánzer made considerable progress in wiping out illicit coca production and drug trafficking.
  • The eradication of coca drove many farmers to poverty.
  • In Aug. 2002, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada became president for the second time.
  • Rising inflation and fuel prices led to mass protests by farmers and miners in 2005.
  • Bolivian Indian activist Evo Morales of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) became the country's first indigenous president.
  • He nationalized Bolivia's energy industry and formed a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution.
  • Morales has referred to himself as the “United States' biggest nightmare.”

Bolivia-flag

Demoraphics

  • More than half of Bolivia’s population consists of Amerindians.
  • 30% of Amerindians are Quechua-speaking and 25% are Aymara-speaking.
  • The Quechuas are the largest among all the native groups.
  • Other groups include Aymaras, Chiquitano and Guaraní.
  • 30% of the population is mixed Amerindian and European.
  • 15% of the population is White.
  • Descendants of the Spanish colonial rulers form the larger part of the white population.
  • They form majority of the aristocracy since independence.
  • Other whites constitute of Germans, Italian, American, Basque, Croatian, Russian and Polish.
  • The Afro-Bolivian community forms more than 0.5% of the population.
  • Almost two-thirds of the population survives on subsistence farming.
  • Majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic which is also the official religion.
  • A large number of people are Protestants.
  • Minority religious communities include Muslims, Jews and Baha’i Faith.
  • There are colonies of Mennonites in the department of Santa Cruz.
  • About 80% of the people speak Spanish as their first language.

Government and Politics

  • Bolivia is ruled by a republican government.
  • Administrative divisions consist of nine departments namely: Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz and Tarija.
  • Independence Day (6 August, 1825) is observed as a national holiday.
  • The legal system is based on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code.
  • Bolivia has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
  • The president is the chief of state and head of government.
  • Cabinet ministers are appointed by the president.
  • President and vice president decided on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term.
  • The legislative branch is represented by a bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consisting of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados.
  • The judicial branch is represented by Supreme Court, District Courts, Constitutional Tribunal and National Electoral Court.

Culture

  • Bolivian culture is a blend of Quechua and Aymara tradition as well as Latin American cultures.
  • The cultural development of Bolivia can be divided into three periods: pre-Columbian, colonial, and republican.
  • The country is rich in traditional Spanish art forms, architecture and sculptors known as “Mestizo Baroque”.
  • Baroque religious music has been appreciated by international audiences.
  • Bolivian culture is rich in folklore and folk music.
  • Annual folk carnivals are an important part of Bolivian tradition.
  • The best known of the various festivals found in the Nation is the "Carnaval de Oruro".
  • Football and table football are popular among the youth.

Economy

  • Bolivia is one of the most under-developed countries in Latin America.
  • Political instability, racial conflicts and social disturbances hindered economic growth for many years.
  • In 2005, the state energy company was given the exclusive rights to produce and export natural gas.
  • Earnings from hydrocarbon exports and higher tax rates have helped the country reduce its debt burdens in recent years.
  • The GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2007 was $39.44 billion.
  • 7.5% of the urban population is unemployed.
  • 60% of the population is below poverty line.
  • Agricultural produce contains soybeans, coffee, coca, , corn, cotton, sugarcane, rice, potatoes and timber.
  • Major industries are mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, clothing and handicrafts.
  • Export commodities include soybean, soy products, crude petroleum, natural gas, zinc ore and tin.
  • Import commodities include plastics, paper, aircraft and aircraft parts, prepared foods, petroleum products, automobiles, insecticides and soybeans.

Airports in Bolivia

Apolo Airport El Alto Airport Monteagudo Airport San Ignacio De M Airport Tarija Airport
Ascension Airport El Trompillo Airport Oruro Airport San Ignacio De Velasco Airport Trinidad Airport
Baures Airport Gen Buech Airport Potosi Airport San Javier Airport Vallegrande Airport
Bermejo Airport Guayaramerin Airport Puerto Rico Airport San Joaquin Airport Villamontes Airport
Camiri Airport Huacaraje Airport Puerto Suarez Airport San Jose Airport Viru Viru Intl Airport
Capitan Anibal Arab Airport J Wilsterman Airport Reyes Airport San Matias Airport Yacuiba Airport
Capitan G Q Guardia Airport Juana Azurduy de Padilla Airport Robore Airport San Ramon Airport Yacuma Airport
Concepcion Airport Magdalena Airport Rurrenabaque Airport Santa Rosa Airport  

Infrastructure

  • Telecommunication services have improved since their privatization in 1995.
  • Telephone lines are mostly concentrated in and around major cities.
  • The use of mobile cellular phone is rapidly increasing.
  • There are 171 AM, 73 FM and 77 shortwave radio broadcast stations.
  • There are 48 television broadcast stations.
  • Internet facilities are readily available.
  • The country has 1,061 airports of which 16 have paved runways.
  • Railway lines span over a distance of 3,504 km.
  • Roadways cover a distance of 62,479 km.
  • Waterways are 10,000 km long and commercially navigable.
  • The merchant marines are equipped with 25 ships.
  • Major ports and terminals are located in Puerto Aguirre.
  • Bolivia has free port benefits in maritime ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay.

Education

  • There is a large difference between literacy levels in rural and urban areas.
  • Literacy levels in rural areas are extremely low.
  • Children from poor families are often made to work and earn for the household.
  • Males are given preference over females in matters of education.
  • The female literacy rate is 80.7% while that for males is 93.1%.
  • The country’s literacy level as a whole is 86.7%.
  • Bolivia devotes 23% of its annual budget to educational expenditures.
  • A comprehensive, seven-year plan of education reform was implemented in 1994.
  • The plan decentralized educational funding to meet diverse local needs, improved teacher training and curricula, and change the school grade system.

Neighbour Countries

Bolivia is surrounded by:

  • Brazil (north and east)
  • Paraguay (south)
  • Argentina (south)
  • Chile (west)
  • Peru (west)

Geographical Settings

  • Bolivia is located in Central South America.
  • Its geographical coordinates are 17 00 S, 65 00 W.
  • The country covers a total area of 1,098,580 sq km.
  • Bolivia is a landlocked country.
  • The climate largely varies with the altitude, ranging from tropical to semi-arid.
  • The terrain comprises of rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills and lowland plains of the Amazon Basin.
  • The highest point is Nevado Sajama standing at 6,542 m.
  • Natural resources include tin, petroleum, natural gas, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber and hydropower.
  • 2.78% of the land is arable.
  • Flooding in the northeastern region is common during March-April.
  • Deforestation and industrial pollution are the major environmental issues.
  • Bolivia shares control of Lago Titicaca (world’s highest navigable lake) with Peru.

Freedom

  • Bolivia gained complete independence from Spain on 6 August, 1825.

Notable People in the Country

  • Painters: Pérez de Holguín, Flores and Bitti.
  • Artists: Arturo Borda, Guzmán de Rojas, María Luisa Pacheco, and Marina Núñez del Prado.

Country Famous for

  • The country has several ruins of several important pre-Columbian cultures like Tiwanaku, Samaipata, Incallajta, and Iskanawaya.
  • Bolivia is also rich in a distinctive style of architecture, painting, and sculpture known as "Mestizo Baroque".
  • Devil Dances, at the annual carnival of Oruro are one of the great folkloric events of South America.

Total Population

  • According to a 2008 census, the total population of Bolivia was estimated to be 9,247,816.
  • The population growth rate is 1.383% (2008 est.)
  • Birth rate: 22.31 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
  • Death rate: 7.35 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Bolivia Related Topics:

» Colleges and Universities in Bolivia » Sports in Bolivia » Bolivia Airports » Bolivia Travel Agencies » Bolivia Maps

Bolivia Tourist Attractions:

  • Salar de Uyuni
  • Valle de la Luna
  • Tiwanaku
  • Laguna Colorada
  • Plaza Murillo
  • IIIimani
  • The Witches Market
  • Coca Museum
  • Laguna Verde
  • Linzor