FC: Bolivia | By: Rebecca Dawson
1: Geography Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America with various climates and landforms. Out of all of the them, the hot lowland rainforests are the most common landscapes in Bolivia, for they take up half of the country. Even though most of the East and Northeast are covered with dangerous jungles, people still live there due to the plentiful grasslands. The sweet grass provides an excellent food source for cattle, giving many people jobs as ranchers. The plains are also great for growing many different varieties of potatoes, therefore giving people jobs as farmers too. Mountains are also very common in this country. There are two major mountain ranges in Bolivia. They are the Andes, and the Altiplano mountains. Both of them are quite different, because the Altiplano are dry, hot, and dusty, while the highest parts of the Andes are usually about thirty two degrees Fahrenheit and have | 16,000 feet of permanent snow. Men go to the Andes to mine for gold, silver, and copper, usually not realizing that they are destroying the wild plant's soil. Lake Titicaca is a "sacred" tourist destination. People come to Puno every year to see the ancient stone mazes on the beach, learn about the underwater temple, and perhaps watch yearly ceremonies, where people row to two of the lake's islands to sacrifice food to the gods. Puno could easily become a hotel mania, but the citizens wouldn't want to do such a thing to sacred grounds, to keep the gods, Mother Earth and Father Earth happy.
2: History Bolivia began to exist, when the Tiahuanaco tribe moved into an area close to Lake Titicaca. They lived alone and in peace, until the Incas took control of them. Later on, Spaniards ruled, and Bolivia had to be known as Upper Peru. They were forced into hard labor to get minerals for Spain. The Europeans abused their power, angering the Bolivians to the point where they began to be the first to rebel. They tried to become independent again, but failed many times, even when they fought in the sixteen year War | of Independence. Their hard work continued until the lead council members decided that they were working the them too hard, and passed a new law to stop the labor. Peace was around again, and Bolivia was named after the man that passed the law, Bolivar. Many years later, Sucre was elected as the first president of Bolivia, but he was soon overthrown in 1828, and havoc was released. A series of harsh dictators ruled and they went through another war. Territory that had been gained by the Spanish was lost, and access to the Pacific Ocean was lost. Due to the loss, trade and advancement in technology slowed down. Horrific phases came and went, but the country eventually became democratic. Ever since, Bolivia has been recovering it's power, and will soon be strong once again, but for now, it is probably best if you stay in Puno if you would ever come to visit.
3: Culture Incan culture is still common among Bolivia. Even though ninety-five percent of everyone in the country are Roman Catholic, many still respect the Incan goddess, Mother Earth. Before drinking a glass of water, to show respect to her, you must pour some of it onto the ground first. People also create textiles, baskets, and wood work art using ancient techniques. Crafts such as those could be sold at a mother's small business, also known as a tiendo. The mother would do such a thing, because usually both parents work to support their family. Unlike the wives, men work out in the fields with work such as ranching, with their sons eight years and older. The father chooses the family's actions, such as who goes to school and marriage, but the mother is known as "the wise one". Together, they make sure that the children are disciplined, but are sure to often take romantic walks, perhaps while listening to a traditional love song. Music about love is common throughout Bolivia. They usually originate from the Andes, and are played with ancient instruments such as panpipes, flutes, drums, and the charango. Music helps the people keep lively.