Bolivia Trip


Culture of Bolivia
July 1, 2009, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Bolivia, Culture, Guide, Nature, Photo, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Travel, Trip, Vacation

Bolivia is a country in South America located at the Andes mountains. It has a Native American population which mixed Spanish and West and Central African cultural elements with their ancestors’ traditions. The Spanish-speaking population mainly follows the Western customs.

The cultural development of what is present-day Bolivia is divided into three distinct periods: pre-Columbian, colonial, and republican. Important archaeological ruins, gold and silver ornaments, stone monuments, ceramics, and weavings remain from several important pre-Columbian cultures. Major ruins include Tiwanaku, Samaipata, Incallajta, and Iskanwaya. The country abounds in other sites that are difficult to reach and hardly explored by archaeologists.

The Spanish brought their own tradition of religious art which, in the hands of local indigenous and mestizo builders and artisans, developed into a rich and distinctive style of architecture, painting, and sculpture known as “Mestizo Baroque.” The colonial period produced not only the paintings of Perez de Holguin, Flores, Bitti, and others but also the works of skilled, but unknown, stonecutters, woodcarvers, goldsmiths, and silversmiths. An important body of native baroque religious music of the colonial period was recovered in recent years and has been performed internationally to wide acclaim since 1994. Bolivian artists of stature in the 20th century include, among others, Guzman de Rojas, Arturo Borda, Maria Luisa Pacheco, Master William Vega, and Marina Núñez del Prado.



Beni
April 26, 2009, 11:14 am
Filed under: Blogging, Bolivia, Culture, Guide, Nature, Photo, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Travel, Trip, Vacation

the-che-guevara-statue-at-the-site-of-his-death-in-boliviaBeni, sometimes El Beni, is a northeastern department of Bolivia, in the lowlands region of the country. It is the second largest department in the country (after Santa Cruz), covering 213,564 square kilometers (82,458 sq mi), and it was created by supreme decree on November 18, 1842 during the administration of General José Ballivián. With a population of 362,521 (2001 census), Beni is the second most sparsely populated of the nine departments of Bolivia, after Pando. Its weather is tropical and humid, with a prevalence of warm to hot temperatures. Its capital is Trinidad.

Beni borders upon Brazil to the northeast, and the departments of Santa Cruz to the southeast, La Paz to the west, Pando to the northwest, and Cochabamba to the south. Beni’s territory is mainly covered by rainforest (particularly the northern and eastern portions of the department) and pampa (notably the grassland Moxos Plain to the south, closer to the Andean reaches). Some of the country’s main lakes are located in the department of Beni, as well as its most formidable rivers, including the Beni, Itenez, Yacuma, and Mamoré, the latter connecting with the Madeira River, the largest tributary to the Amazon.



Legislative branch
February 11, 2009, 12:02 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Bolivia, Culture, Guide, Nature, Photo, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Travel, Trip, Vacation

Bolivia’s government is a republic. The Congreso Nacional (National Congress) has two chambers. The Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies) has 130 members elected to five-year terms, seventy from single-member districts (circunscripciones) and sixty by proportional representation. The Cámara de Senadores (Chamber of Senators) has twenty-seven members (three per department), elected to five-year terms.

Bolivia has had a total of 193 coups d’état from independence until 1981, thereby averaging a change of government once every ten months. Credit for the past quarter century of relative political stability is largely attributed to President Víctor Paz Estenssoro, who ceded power peacefully after cutting hyperinflation which reached as high as 14,000 percent.



Lake Titicaca
December 10, 2008, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Bolivia, Culture, Guide, Nature, Photo, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Travel, Trip, Vacation

The most prominent feature of the Altiplano is the large lake at its northern end, Lake Titicaca. At 3,810m above sea level, it is the highest commercially navigable body of water in the world. With a surface area of 9,064km, it is larger than Puerto Rico and is South America’s largest lake. Lake Titicaca is also deep, about 370m at its maximum, but with an average depth of 215m; its volume of water is large enough to maintain a constant temperature of 10°C. The lake actually moderates the climate for a considerable distance around it, making crops of maize and wheat possible in sheltered areas.

Lake Titicaca drains southward through the slow-moving, reed-filled Desaguadero River to Lake Poopó. In contrast to the freshwater Lake Titicaca, Lake Poopó is salty and shallow, with depths seldom more than four meters. Because it is totally dependent on seasonal rainfall and the overflow from Lake Titicaca, Lake Poopó’s size varies considerably. Several times in the twentieth century, it nearly dried up when rainfall was low or the Desaguadero River silted. In years of heavy rainfall, however, Lake Poopó has overflowed to the west, filling the Coipasa Saltpan with shallow water.



Regions
October 13, 2008, 10:20 am
Filed under: Blogging, Bolivia, Culture, Guide, Nature, Photo, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Travel, Trip, Vacation
# The Amazon region of Bolivia is located in the north of the country. It is a sparsely populated rainforest area with some of the agricultural regions.
# The Yungas are the valleys and mountain slopes between the Altiplano and the Amazon level. They are from tropical mountain rain and fog covered forest.
# The Llanos in southeastern Bolivia is a vast plain, the dry and wet forests and today is largely agriculturally used. Here lies the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.


Rise of the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (1951)
August 24, 2008, 11:30 pm
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The Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR) emerged as a broadly based party. Denied its victory in the 1951 presidential elections, the MNR led the successful 1952 revolution. Under President Víctor Paz Estenssoro, the MNR , having strong popular pressure, introduced universal suffrage into his political platform, and carried out a sweeping land-reform promoting rural education and nationalization of the country’s largest tin-mines.

Twelve years of tumultuous rule left the MNR divided. In 1964, a military junta overthrew President Estenssoro at the outset of his third term. The 1969 death of President René Barrientos Ortuño, a former member of the junta elected President in 1966, led to a succession of weak governments. Alarmed by public disorder and the rising Popular Assembly, the military, the MNR, and others installed Colonel (later General) Hugo Banzer Suárez as President in 1971. Banzer ruled with MNR support from 1971 to 1974. Then, impatient with schisms in the coalition, he replaced civilians with members of the armed forces and suspended political activities. The economy grew impressively during most of Banzer’s presidency, but human rights violations and eventual fiscal crises undercut his support. He was forced to call elections in 1978, and Bolivia again entered a period of political turmoil.



Colonial period
June 21, 2008, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Bolivia, Culture, Guide, Nature, Photo, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Travel, Trip, Vacation

The territory now known as Bolivia was called “Upper Peru” and was under the authority of the Viceroy of Lima. Local government came from the Audiencia de Charcas located in Chuquisaca (La Plata—modern Sucre). By the late 16th century Bolivian silver was an important source of revenue for the Spanish empire. A steady stream of natives served as labor force (the Spanish employed the pre-Columbian draft system called the mita). As Spanish royal authority weakened during the Napoleonic wars, sentiment against colonial rule grew.