"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 countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's traditional political class and empower the nation's poor, indigenous majority. However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the Amerindian populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous communities of the eastern lowlands..."
"Few children in Latin America get to take part in summer camp, much less a Christian one, but one camp in Bolivia reports thousands of lives are being changed by the experience. "
Blood Sacrifice and a Fight to the Death, from traveltheroad.wordpress.com "The Tinku festival, held in the small village of Macha, Bolivia, once a year, is a brutal form of blood sacrifice. At the beginning of May surrounding communities travel long distances and once they arrive in Macha they sing, dance and drink large amounts of alcohol in the streets. This is done to arouse and worship Pachamama (Mother Earth) for the coming harvest. Many Bolivians hold Pachamama in high regard even though they would also consider themselves Catholics as well.
The main aim of the Tinku festival is for communities to fight each other in the hopes of shedding blood. The more blood that drips on the ground, through combat, the better the coming harvest will be. Most fights occur by fist to fist combat, but whips, clubs and barbed-wire are also know to be used. The Bolivian government knows of the festival and can only try to contain it each, not stop it....
Overall by the end of the festival two people lay dead. Hundreds more hurt in combat. Yet the people cheered, drank and sung songs long into the night. Some might defend this practice as cultural right, but that is ignorance and cowardice. If mankind is allowed to perform, in essences, human sacrifice, then at what point do we draw the line between right and wrong. Cultural customs should not be an excuse to commit murder...
Famous since Spanish colonial days for its mineral wealth, modern Bolivia was once a part of the ancient Inca empire. After the Spaniards defeated the Incas in the 16th century, Bolivia's predominantly Indian population was reduced to slavery. The remoteness of the Andes helped protect the Bolivian Indians from the European diseases that decimated other South American Indians. But the existence of a large indigenous group forced to live under the thumb of their colonizers created a stratified society of haves and have-nots that continues to this day. Income inequality between the largely impoverished Indians who make up two-thirds of the country and the light-skinned European elite remains vast.....
"...Prior to European colonization, the Bolivian territory was a part of the Incan Empire, which was the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. During most of the Spanish colonial period, this territory was called "Upper Peru" or "Charcas" and was under the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of Spain's South American colonies. After declaring independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the republic, named for Simón Bolívar, on August 6, 1825. Bolivia has struggled through periods of political instability, dictatorships and economic woes....
The great majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic, although Protestant denominations are expanding rapidly. According to a 2001 survey conducted by the National Statistical Institute, 78% of the population is Roman Catholic, 16% is Protestant and 3% follow other religions of Christian origin. Islam practiced by the descendants of Middle Easterners is almost nonexistent. There is also a small Jewish community that is almost all Ashkenazi in origin. The state has no official religion.
There are colonies of Mennonites in the Santa Cruz Department. Many Native communities interweave pre-Columbian and Christian symbols in their worship. About 80% of the people speak Spanish as their first language, although the Aymara and Quechua languages are also common. Approximately 90% of the children attend primary-school but often for a year or less. The literacy rate is low in many rural areas, but, according to the CIA, the literacy rate is 87% nationwide, a rate similar to Brazil's but below the South American average....
"In the summer of 2007, a Christian team from All around the United Kingdom went into some of the poorest places in Bolivia and met and saw people in Poverty, this is a short to give people a smidgen of an idea."
Travel to La Paz Bolivia: Tiwanaku, chacaltaya, titicaca lake
"This video shows some touristic places like Lake Titicaca, Island of the Sun, Tiwanaku, Coroico, The death road and much more... "
"Simply superlative – this is Bolivia. It’s the hemisphere’s highest, most isolated and most rugged nation. It’s among the earth’s coldest, warmest, windiest and steamiest spots. It boasts among the driest, saltiest and swampiest natural landscapes in the world. Although the poorest country in South America (and boy do Bolivians get tired of hearing that), it’s also one of the richest in terms of natural resources. It’s also South America’s most indigenous country, with over 60% of the population claiming indigenous heritage, including Aymará, Quechua, Guaraní and over 30 other ethnic groups. Bolivia has it all…except, that is, for beaches.
This landlocked country boasts the soaring peaks of the Cordillera Real around Sorata and the hallucinogenic salt flats of Uyuni, the steamy jungles of the Amazon Basin and wildlife-rich grasslands of the Southeast. Unparalleled beauty is also reflected in its vibrant indigenous cultures, colonial cities such as Sucre and Potosí, and whispers of ancient civilizations. This is exactly what attracts visitors, and with good reason. Bolivia is now well and truly on travelers’ radars; opportunities for cultural and adventure activities and off-the-beaten-path exploration have exploded. But while most travelers stick to the well-worn paths of the Altiplano, there’s plenty to be found elsewhere, including the tropical east and the lowland regions in the south."