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Saturday 13th July
Bolivia Information - Page 2
Bolivia became part of the Vice-royalty of Peru in 1538. Spain controlled the region for three hundred years.

In 1824, Simon de Bolivar and Antonio Jose de Sucre won Bolivia's freedom.

A war between Bolivia and Chile (1879-84) led to Bolivia becoming a landlocked country - coastal territory was lost to Chile.

During the early twentieth century, more territory was lost to Brazil (1903) and to Paraguay (1935).

Social and economic reforms were introduced by the government of the MNR (National Revolutionary Movement) which controlled Bolivia from 1952 until 1964. Years of unrest followed the overthrow of the MNR and many Bolivians emigrated to other countries. Elections were restored in the second half of the 1980s.

In December 2005 Evo Morales, the socialist leader, won the presidential election.

Many Bolivians are subsistence farmers. Agricultural products are maize, coffee, coca, potatoes, rice, soybeans, sugarcane and cotton. Animals are reared (sheep, cows, goats, alpacas, llamas, and vicunas).

Industry produces a significant percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Major industries are mining (tin, silver, gold, lithium, etc) smelting, petroleum, natural gas, tobacco, clothing, food and beverages.

Services makes the largest contribution to the GDP. Tourism is a major sector for growth and employment. (2011)

Crafts produced in Bolivia are silver and gold jewellery, metalwork, wooden products, leather goods, textiles and items made from alpaca and llama wool.

Cultural institutions include the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, the National Orchestra of Native Instruments and the Choral Society of Bolivia. Museums are the National Museum of Art, the National Archaeology Museum, the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, and the Tiwanaku Museum.

Soccer is the national sport. Other team games played are basketball and volleyball.

Water sports include swimming and sailing. Rock climbing and skiing are available in Bolivia.

Christmas, Easter and religious holidays are celebrated. Other holidays include New Year's Day, Carnival - end of February, Labour Day - 1 May, and Independence Day - 6 August (1825 - from Spain).

News from Bolivia is available from Newslink.

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