50 Fascinating Facts about Bolivia

In 2009, Bolivia's official name became the Plurinational State of Bolivia, in recognition of the ethnically diverse nature of the country and the enhanced status of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under its new constitution. The nation is certainly multi-ethnic: its population of 11 million is made up of Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians and Africans. While Spanish is the predominant language, an impressive 36 indigenous languages also have official status in Bolivia. Geographically, Bolivia is also incredibly diverse. It features the Andes in the West (a third of the country is within the Andean mountain range), while its Eastern Lowlands are within the Amazon Basin. A landlocked country, Bolivia is bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the south by Paraguay and Argentina, and to the west by Peru and Chile. Bolivia's distinctive flag is a horizontal tricolor of red, yellow and green with the Bolivian coat of arms at the center. The coat of arms features a central cartouche (shield) surrounded by Bolivian flags, muskets, laurel branches, and an Andean condor on top.

Bolivia Facts

1
Bolivia is named after Simon Bolivar who led Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Columbia to independence in 1852
2
Its name changed from Republic of Bolivar to Bolivia when it was approved by the Republic on 3rd October 1825
3
Simon Bolivar was Bolivia’s first president
4
Bolivia finally became an independent country on 6th August 1825
5
The currency used is the Bolivian Boliviano
6
Bolivia is a landlocked country as well as Paraguay and they are the only two in the Americas
7
Slavery was abolished in Bolivia in 1831
8
Bolivia used to be part of the Inca Empire prior to the Spanish conquests
9
Bolivia lost its colony on the Pacific Ocean to Chile following the war of the Pacific
10
Bolivia maintains its navy to prepare to re conquer its territory on the Pacific Ocean from Chile
11
Bolivia has three drainage basins; the Amazon basin, Rio De La Plata Basin and Central Basin
12
You are allowed to vote at 18 if you are married and 21 if you are single
13
It is rare for a woman to work in Bolivia, the man is considered the breadwinner
14
The estimated population is 11 million
15
It is a multi-ethnic country housing approximately 3 dozen different native groups
16
Spanish is the leading language and is spoken by 2/3 of the population, but it also recognises 37 other languages
17
Over 60% of the population is younger than 25 years old
18
The Bolivian population has tripled over the last 50 years
19
78% of the population is Roman Catholic
20
Bolivia is one of the few countries that has two capitals. The official capital is Sucre and the highest administrative capital is La Paz
21
Bolivia is considered to be one of the wettest countries in the world as there is approximately 8000mm of rainfall per year
22
It is the poorest country in South America, even though it is wealthy in minerals
23
Tin is now the most significant source of wealth even though it used to be silver
24
Educational opportunities are very low and less than a quarter of the youngsters continue to secondary school
25
Due to the lack of education and family planning, Bolivia has a very high fertility rate with the average statistics showing approximately 3 children per woman
26
It is the country in South America with the most health problems, a lot of problems stemming from the lack of clean water and basic sanitation
27
Soccer is the national sport in Bolivia
28
La Paz is home to the world’s largest salt flat, also known as Salar De Uyuni and is 10,582 square Kilometres in size
29
Salar De Uyuni is also known as the largest mirror on Earth and stretches for 6500 miles
30
A hotel dedicated to Salar De Uyuni was built in 1993-1995 and was built using blocks of salt for the floors, walls, ceiling and furniture
31
La Paz was the first South American city to receive an electricity supply
32
La Paz houses the Bolivian Congress Building
33
The clock on the congress building runs backwards and was set this way to encourage the Bolivians to appreciate their culture and to think differently and originally
34
Guinea pig is considered a delicacy in Bolivia and are served fried and whole. It plays a large role in the Bolivian diet as they reproduce quickly and don’t need as much space as other livestock
35
Bolivia is the main exporter of Brazil nuts
36
A lot of the homes here have a llama foetus thrown below the foundations as it is considered to bring good luck
37
The world’s largest butterfly sanctuary is in Bolivia
38
The dolphins found in the amazon in Bolivia, also known as bufeos are pink
39
Cal Orcko is a famous limestone cliff in Bolivia with over 5,000 dinosaur footprints produced by 8 different species of dinosaur dating back 68 million years
40
Bolivia holds 53 prisons
41
San Pedro is the most renowned prison as it houses inmates and their wives and children and used to be open to tourists
42
As the majority of wives of prisoners did not work and they are without their husband’s income, they are not able to afford to live in the city, so would go to stay with their husbands in the prison but could come and go as they pleased
43
80% of prisoners in Bolivia are there for drug-related offences
44
The prison at one point produced almost all of the cocaine found in Bolivia
45
Bolivia has very rich folklore and one of the greatest folkloric events in South America is the devil dances at the annual carnival
46
The most dangerous road, Camino De Las Yungas, also known as the death road is located in La Paz and has an estimated 200-300 fatalities a year and has markings on the road where the fatalities happened
47
You will find people dressed as zebras on the streets of La Paz to help the children cross the road carefully and to teach them about road safety
48
Lake Titicaca which is on the border of Bolivia and Peru is known as the largest lake in South America
49
Dead animals are sold on the streets and at the witches’ markets as they are considered to bring good luck and prosperity
50
Over 40% of all animal and plant life in the world can be found in Bolivia and its rainforests

Still considered a developing country, Bolivia has a medium ranking in the Human Development Index and a poverty level of almost 40%. However, it is one of the safest countries in Latin America, despite being among the poorest. Rich in natural resources, Bolivia's main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing, all of which have helped it attain one of the fastest economic growths in Latin America over the last decade. Its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture and the fascinating history of its many ethnic groups makes Bolivia an intriguing tourist destination for the kind of traveller who likes to get a little off the beaten track and visit less well-known destinations. Bolivia is guaranteed not to disappoint.

Sources

    Copyright 2018 © NationFacts