Facts About Bolivia

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Bolivia is about 3 times the size of Montana, Brazil forms the eastern borders and its other bordering neighbors are Peru and Chile on the west and Argentina and Paraguay on the south. The western part of Bolivia is a great plateau called the Altiplano, with an altitude of 12,000 ft. A lowland region called, The Oriente, ranges from rainforest to grasslands, and consists of the northern and eastern two-thirds of the country.

Fact 1:    Almost half the population of Bolivia lives on the plateau, which includes Oruro, Potosí, and La Paz. La Paz is the highest administrative capital city in the world at an altitude of 11,910 feet.

Fact 2:    At an altitude of 12,507 feet, Lake Titicaca is the highest commercially passable body of water in the world. It is one of South America’s top tourist attractions because of its fascinating and exciting local culture. It is the largest lake in South America by volume of water and its maximum length is 118 miles and maximum width is 50 miles.

Fact 3:    Bolivia is the only country in the world that has two capital cities: La Paz is native to the executive branch and the national legislature, and Sucre is home to the judiciary branch of government.

Fact 4:    Profound social and economic separations between the rich and the poor have led to a long habit of political instability and general problems in development.

Fact 5:    Bolivia is under substantial international pressure to restrict the industry of coca and cocaine, which they are the world’s third-largest producer of. Other important industries in Bolivia includes soy farming and the extraction of natural gas, they are some of Bolivia’s most important exports.

Fact 6:    Plan is a USA based organization that works with over 48,500 children and families in Bolivia; they help promote health, education, and increased standards of living and to help teach sustainable farming methods in the rural areas. Plan only provides direct assistance in Emergency situations, instead they help communities develop, grow and support themselves.

Fact 7:    In the 1980s Bolivia had some of the worst health statistics in the Western Hemisphere. The life expectancy in 1989 was 52 years old for males and 56 years old for females. Infant mortality rate was 124 per 1000 live births. 70 percent of the population was affected by nutritional deficiencies. Clean water was inaccessible to about 57 percent; and acceptable sanitary facilities were unavailable to about 76 percent of the population. Just about one of every ten child dies before the age of five.

Fact 8:    Cochabamba which is a town of 800,000 located high in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia had a popular protest that turned into a deadly riot. The army fought civilians in the streets for about 3 months, hundreds were arrested, a 17 year old boy was killed and the government of Bolivia nearly collapsed. The issues was over water, a private group, dominated by the Bechtel Corporation of San Francisco, took over control of Cochabamba’s water system and raised water rates. The protestors held Bechtel responsible for trying to “lease the rain.”

Fact 9:    Bolivia has been entangled in conflict for years over the planned construction of a 182 mile highway, 32 miles of the highway would cut through TIPNIS, which is a vital ecosystem- located at the geographic center of South America. Environmental studies predicted that the project would cause widespread damage; it would contaminate the parks 3 main rivers, causing large areas of the forest to illegal logging and settlement and altering habits of 11 endangered species and rare primates.

Fact 10:    Natural resources of the country are tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, and hydropower.

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