Bolivia, officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile by the south west, and Peru by the west. Prior to European colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire – the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century.
Map of Bolivia:
History of Bolivia
The region that is now known as Bolivia has been constantly occupied for over 2,000 years, when the Aymara arrived in the region. Present-day Aymara associate themselves with an advanced civilization situated at Tiwanaku, in Western Bolivia. The capital city of Tiwanaku dates as early as 1500 BC as a small agriculturally based village.
Demographics of Bolivia
Bolivia’s ethnic distribution is estimated to be 30% Quechua-speaking and 25% Aymara-speaking.
Although the great majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic, Protestant denominations and traditional ethnic Inca religion are expanding rapidly. According to a 2001 survey conducted by the National Statistical Institute, 78% of the population is Roman Catholic, 16% is Protestant and 3% follow other Christian denominations.
The Bolivian military comprises three branches: an Army, Navy (an empty navy) and Air Force. The legal age for voluntary admissions is 18; however, when the numbers are small the government recruits anyone as young as 14. The tour of duty is generally 12 months. The Bolivian government annually spends $130 million on defense.