Bolivia

Keely Angeles , World Geography , November 8 2014

Bolivia's Flag


  1. The state flag and ensign (and war flag) is a horizontal tricolor of red, yellow and green with the Bolivian coat of arms in the center. According to one source, the red stands for Bolivia's brave soldiers, while the green symbolizes fertility and yellow the nation's mineral deposits.


What's so cool about Bolivia?

First of all you need to know the location of Bolivia. A landlocked country located in the western-southern of South America. Anyways, Bolivia has one of the highest navigable lake in the world. Its at 3810 meters above sea! It is also one of the deepest lakes in the world. Bolivia is also known as the largest deposit of salt on the planet. The Salar de Uyuni (Uyini salt beds or salt flats) contain overr 64 million tons of salt! Believe it or not what you see in the picture is SALT! When it rains the water forms a thin layer on top that reflects the entire sky!

What else?...

Bolivia is located within one of the wettest zones on the planet. It gets over 8000 millimeters (8 meters) of rainfall per year! So any of you who loves the rain , should visit Bolivia you'll be able to run, play, or do whatever you want in the rain. I'm not done yet, any animal lovers? Well, Bolivia is the place for you. Bolivia contains 40% of All animal and plant life in the world (called a biodiversity.) Another cool thing about Bolivia , it has over 30 official languages and 36 native cultures. The main language spoken is Spanish, Quechua and Aymara. There is also many immigrants from other countries such as Europe, Germany, Japan, and even Korea! There is a lot of Adventure in Bolivia. You can take mountain trails, and safaris. You can also visit the world's highest ski lift, golf course and swimming pool in the country. Finally, even though Bolivia is filled with poverty, it is a safe place.

Guaranteed To Be Relaxing And Fun

What is Bolivia's Religion?

The Roman Catholic church has a dominant presence in the religion in Bolivia. While a vast majority of Bolivians are Catholic Christians, a much smaller portion of the population participates actively.
  • Catholic - 81.6%
  • Protestant - 10.3% | Non-Catholic
  • No religion - 3.3% | Atheist
  • Other Protestant - 2.6% | Adventist, Baptist, Calvinist, Methodist, etc.
  • Mormon and Jehovah's Witnesses - 1.7%
  • Non Christian - 0.4% | Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu
  • Traditional religions - 0.1% | Native Religions

Languages?

The languages of Bolivia include Spanish . Most prominently Quechua, Aymara and Tupi Guarani; Bolivian Sign Language.

List of official languages:

  • Araona
  • Aymara
  • Ayoreo
  • Baure
  • Callahuaya
  • Canichana
  • Cavinena
  • Cayubaba
  • Chiquitano
  • Guarani
  • Eastern Bolivian Guarani
  • Itonama
  • Leco
  • Movima
  • Pacahuara
  • Quechua
  • Reyesano
  • Saraveca
  • Sirono
  • Spanish
  • Tacana
  • Tapiete
  • Toromona
  • Weenhayek
  • Yaminawa
  • Yuki
  • Yuracare
  • Zamuco

Hello In Spanish "Hola"

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What are the major ethnic groups?

The ethnic distribution of Bolivia is estimated to be 30% Quechua-speaking and 25% Aymara-Speaking. The largest of the approximately three dozen native groups are the Quechuas (2.5 Million), Aymaras (2 Million), then Chiquitano (180,000) and Guarani (125,000)

Bolivian Music Types From The Andes, in the Valleys, and the Tropics

Saya

The Saya originates in the Bolivian Yungus region among the country's small Afrobolivian community. The main instruments used are the drum and the flute. It blends ancient rhythms brought by former slaves from their African homeland with traditional Andean flutes and dance steps. The music is called the Saya but the dance is called "Negritos". The Saya is the music style plagiarized by Brazilian singer "Kaoma" who renamed it and made it known around the world in the 1980's as the famous "lambada".

Antawara

This rhythm is from the valleys and the highlands where shepherds herded sheep, llamas and alpacas and spent long hours entertaining themselves with their quenas. Later, a dance was created based on the common movements the shepherds and shepherdesses made to herd, watch over, water and feed their herds. This is one of the newer Bolivian dances.

Cueca

This lively music is typical to Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and the Bolivian valleys, with variations in each country. It is played with charangos or guitars (and in many modern variations violins and accordions). This dance, almost in a satirical manner, is a courting dance between men and women. It is known throughout the world and can be identified by the typical twirling of a handkerchief overhead.

Carnavalito

Derived from the “huayno”, described above, it was adapted to Eastern Bolivian instruments and does not include flutes or pan flutes, but does include drums and other similar wind instruments. Now it is played by large bands and sometimes with synthesizers but traditionally it is played by the “tamboritas”, typical Eastern Bolivian musical groups. The two main instruments are the tamborcillos (small drums) and violins.

Chovena

Also from Eastern Bolivia it is played using the “pifano de tacuara” (a fife made from the tacuara which is a species of bamboo), drums, and sometimes the violin and accordion. This is the rhythm of the tribes that inhabited the plains and originated prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. It is very popular during Carnaval.

Food In Bolivia

Employment

In rural areas, many Bolivians work as farmers on small plots of land. Mining has a long history in Bolivia, from the colonial silver mines of the Potosi to the tin mines of today. When the international tin market collapsed in 1985, thousands of tin miners were lost their jobs. So as not to starve to death, many miners moved to the lowlands. They began growing coca leaves for the illegal cocaine industry. In the towns, people work as street vendors, in the construction industry, as maids and housekeepers, or as plumbers , and electricians, or carpenters. There is also a middle class of professionals. In addition to doctors and lawyers, there are more and more engineers and technicians of various types.

Holidays And Festivals

6 January. Dia de los Reyes Magos. Epiphany/Twelfth Night.

In Bolivia, gifts are given to children to this, the Day of the Kings (Wise men). Children place their shoes outside the door and the Three Kings (or one Mommy) fill them with candy and pastries at night.

14 February. Dia de San Valentin. St. Valentine's Day.

Bolivian's have just begun to celebrate this day during the past ten years, probably due to the enormous influx of American families that arrived in 1997 during the oil boom. Actually, they have our own special occasion called "Lovers Day" or "Day of Love" on 21 September.

8 March. Dia Internacional de la Mujer. International Women's Day

This is actually one of the many United Nations holidays they celebrate in Bolivia. Probably the most popular one of all.

19 March. Dia del Padre. Father's Day

It's very unusual but in Bolivia Father's Day is celebrated much less gusto that Mother's Day and others. Someone has asked some dads how they feel about it but they all acted very nonchalant. They don't need or even want the attention. I think this may occur because men are seen as the providers of the family and women as the heart of the home.

23 March. Dia del Mar. Day of the Sea.

If Bolivia is landlocked, why celebrate the Day of the Sea? Because if you're landlocked, it's all you think about - how Chile took away your coastline over 1000 years ago and how much you want it back and how your economy has been stuck in a rut ever since.

12 April. Dia del Nino. Children's Day.

This is a huge deal here in Bolivia. Schools prepare plays and poetry recitals, dances and music and parents are invited to celebrate at school with the kids. Parents give their children small gifts or a special dinner or take them somewhere special on their day.

27 May. Dia de la Madre. Mother's Day

One of the largest celebrations in Bolivia. For bakeries and florists this is the biggest sales day of the year. Literally. It can make your break your business. Mother's and women in general, are seriously celebrated on several occasions throughout the year. Hey, who am I to complain. If it ain't broke, don't fix it I say.

6 August. Dia del Patria. Bolivian Independence Day.

This is, of course, a national public holiday also known as "Día de la Patria", Independence Day celebrates the ending of Spanish rule in Bolivia. The event is marked with school functions, patriotic parades through the streets and loud gun salutes. Military parades form a big part of the occasion.
South: A Backpacking Adventure - Traveling Peru, Chile and Bolivia