The territory of Bolivia is more than one million square kilometers, according to this indicator, it is among the thirty largest countries in the world. But the population is about 11 million people. Thus, a little more than a dozen Bolivians live on one square kilometer. The official name of the country is the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Bolivia has three official languages at once - Spanish, Aymara and Quechua.
Bolivia received its modern name in 1825 in honor of Simon Bolivar, the leader of the struggle for the independence of the Spanish colonies. Thanks to Bolivar, apart from Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia also gained independence. Bolivar himself planned to unite all these states in the Southern United States, but was accused of wanting to form an empire and become a dictator.
Bolivia is home to the potato, cultivated by the local Indians about 5, 000 years ago. Currently, about 250 types of potatoes are grown in the country, and in the Andes, you can still find these root crops growing in the wild. In the 16th century, the Spaniards, who liked potatoes, began to import them to Europe, after a while it became one of the most common agricultural crops in the Old World.
There are not many countries that do not have McDonald's. But in Bolivia, American fast food outlets have not been able to gain popularity; a few years after opening, all of them were closed. Bolivians are very careful about the national cuisine, they are sure that food must be cooked carefully, fast foods turned out to be powerless in front of folk traditions.
Bolivia is a mountainous country. For example, the actual capital of the state, the city of La Paz, is located at an altitude of 3, 600 meters above sea level, being the highest capital in the world. La Paz is characterized by constant weather changes, frosts can hit at any time of the year. despite its large territory, Bolivia is landlocked. But, in 2010, an agreement was signed with Peru on the lease for 99 years of the coastal site for the construction of the port.
But Bolivia was not always deprived of access to the ocean coast. The country lost its coastal territories in 1879, as a result of the war with the neighboring state of Chile. Now there are two South American countries inside the continent - Bolivia and Paraguay.
On the border of Bolivia and Peru is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Its area is 8, 372 square kilometers. According to an ancient legend, there was once a whole city on the site of the lake. So far, underwater archaeologists have not been able to find it, but a stone pavement and the ruins of a fortress wall have been found.
Bolivians are a very politicized people, they like to organize rallies and protest marches. Interestingly, the right to vote in a country is determined by the marital status of the voter. Married people can participate in elections from the age of eighteen. But bachelors will have to wait another three years. The head of state and government is the president, who is elected for a 5-year term.
Back in the nineteenth century, Old Believers from the Russian Empire began to move to Bolivia, and in the twenties of the last century, former White Guards were added to them. Currently, about 2, 000 Bolivians speak Russian. Local authorities allocated land plots to migrants far from large cities. The land here was fertile, and the Old Believers were not afraid of work.
Having visited Bolivia, you can stay in an unusual hotel called Palacio de Sal - "Salt Palace". It was built a quarter of a century ago from salt blocks. But, salt here is not only walls and floors, all the furniture in the hotel is also made of salt. The total area of the facility is 418 square meters; the construction took 10, 000 tons of salt. In the courtyard you can play golf on the salt field. The rains cause a lot of problems for the hotel, some blocks have to be changed.
Bolivia's national football team cannot be classified as a world leader. But, at home, and the main stadium of the country is located at an altitude of 3, 600 meters, it is not easy for the Bolivian rivals to play, they constantly complain about the lack of air. But, FIFA allows the Bolivian national team to play matches at the high-altitude stadium named after Hernando Siles. It was here that in the qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup, Bolivia sensationally defeated Argentina with a score of 6: 1.
Bolivian athletes have taken part in 14 Summer and 6 Winter Olympics. The debut took place in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics. To the chagrin of the fans, the representatives of Bolivia have never been able to win a medal. In 2018, Finnish skier Grenlund Timo competed for Bolivia at the Pyeongchang Winter Games. But the native of a northern European country could not climb the podium.