Flag of Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia


Country Bolivia – named for Simon Bolivar – the liberator of much of South America

A republic  – also called a “Social Unitarian State”

Bolivia is equal in size to California and Texas combined

One of the wettest zones on the planet  with  8000 mm of rain a year

Link to Map of Bolivia

Continent South America
Capital La Paz- the administrative capital – the world’s highest capital

Sucre – the historic and judicial capital

Population 10,800,882      60% are indigenous Indian, mostly Quechua or Aymara
Language Spanish, Aymara, Chiquitano and 34 other official languages
Religion Roman Catholic
Terrain Varies from the Andes Mountains to the Atacama Desert to the Amazon basin rain forest

Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat – during seasonal floods, it is the world’s largest mirror  – reflecting the skies from its perfectly flat surface.  These properties make it one of the best places in the world to help calibrate satellites.  It also contains 60% of the world’s lithium reserves.  It is a tourist attraction.

There is a limestone cliff with over 5000 dinosaur footprints – many dating back 68 million years

Sports Futbol (soccer) is the national sport.  Also futbol de salon which is played on a basketball court fitted with small goals and a smaller ball.

Paleta is a racquet sport that is very popular.  Swimming, mountain climbing, tennis, white water rafting are also enjoyed

Animals Flamingoes, sloths, llamas, spectacled bear, over 1000 bird species
Facts of Interest Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in SA and is the highest commercially navigable body of water in the world

The clock on the National Congress building runs backward to remind citizens to think differently

Lunch is the most important meal of the day

Market day is an important social event

Their large natural gas deposits and expansion of soybean cultivation are helping the economy

They also export zinc, gold, wood, Brazil nuts, quinoa

Concerns Once part of the Inca empire, they went through several wars, loss of some territory, the guerrilla movement from Cuba with Che Guevara, military coups, and finally returned to civilian rule by 1995

Income inequality between the largely impoverished natives and the European elite remains vast.

It is the 3rd largest producer of coca and cocaine – a huge problem – but a major source of revenue for the indigenous farmers

Forced labor and sex trafficking domestically and abroad with the rural poor and the LGBT youth particularly vulnerable

Lack of clean water and basic sanitation, hepatitis A, HIV, dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever

In 2005 Evo Morales became the 1st indigenous president and his policies have not pleased our government – especially when he offered asylum to Edward Snowden – the former CIA employee

Mission PC USA is present through Joining Hands program of the Presbyterian Hunger Program which is funded through One Great Hour of Sharing.

The “Water School” developed by the Joining Hands network encourages youth to protest the degradation and contamination of water resourced.

The goal of the Independent Presbyterian Church in Boliva is justice and peace for indigenous Bolivians.

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