PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA
(Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, Bulivya Mamallaqta, Wuliwya Suyu, Tetã Volívia)
- Location: South America
- Capital: Sucre (official capital) La Paz (actual capital)
- Language: Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua
- Population: 9,862,860
- Total Area: 1,098,891 sq km
- Currency: Boliviano (BOB)
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Chicha, a beverage made from fermented corn, is a drink that has been consumed since the time of the Incas.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption per Capita: 5.12
- Most Popular Drink: Singani, a grape brandy, is the national drink along with pisco which is also a strong, colorless grape brandy.
Bolivia Travel Video
Bolivia, officially Estado Plurinational de Bolivia, has three official languages: Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua. The latter two are Indian languages, which are so common because the people of Bolivia are mostly of mixed white and Indian descent. The country’s official capital is Sucre but the actual capital city is La Paz. The Oriente region has a similar climate to the Yungas although in the winter months dusty winds sweep through the area. The fourth major land region is called the Valles and its temperature is very similar to the Yungas and the Oriente.
In the early 1800’s, a Venezuelan general by the name of Simon Bolivar organized an army to fight against Spain for the independence of their South American colonies. He sent one of his generals, Antonio Jose de Sucre, to free Bolivia in 1825. The grateful Bolivians named their country for Bolivar and their official capital for Sucre. The working-class Bolivians, referred to as cholos, lead lives of mixed Spanish and Indian traditions, and they live in adobe houses with tile or metal roofs. Farmers (campesinos) comprise Bolivia’s largest social class.
Potatoes, corn, and a grain called quinoa (a grain-like crop) are the traditional Bolivian foods. Lunch is the main meal of the day and usually consists of soup and a main dish. Most Bolivian food is not too spicy although there are some sauces such as “la llajwa” which is made of tomato and hot chilies.
Some popular Bolivian drinks are chicha, a sour drink made from fermented corn, tojori, a thick, hot drink also made of corn, and singani, a cold alcoholic beverage mixed with either sprite or sweet juice. Singani, a grape brandy, is used to make traditional cocktails such as chuflay and yungueno.
Bolivian culture is rich in folklore. The annual carnival of Oruro has the famous “devil dances” which are known throughout South America. Football (American Soccer) is the most popular sport as well as table football. Table football, also known as foosball, is a table-top game loosely based on association football.
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Rebecca Dimyan (Danbury, CT, USA).
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