Bolivia

Article

August 13, 2022

Bolivia (Quechua: Bulibya; Aymara: Wuliwya; Guarani: Volívia), officially the Plurinational State(s) of Bolivia (Spanish: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia), is a country in South America. It borders Chile, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Over half of the country lies east of the Andes and this eastern part lies mainly in the Amazon basin. Bolivia has a dry and cool climate on the Altiplano, hot and humid in the northern lowlands and dry on the Gran Chaco plain in the south. Between the Amazon rainforest and the Altiplano high plain (around 4,000 meters above sea level) lie fertile valleys at up to 2,800 meters above sea level. La Paz is the world's highest capital at 3,600 meters. In the Andes on the border with Chile, Nevado Sajama is the country's highest point at 6,542 metres. About two-thirds of Bolivia is hot lowland. Bolivia has no coast and from 1993 borrowed a small area from Peru as a free trade area. The capital is Sucre. The presidency and parliament are located in La Paz, while the Supreme Court is located in Sucre, where the Spanish conquistadors founded the first courts in Latin America. Today's division of the capital role is the result of a civil war between Sucre and La Paz. The largest cities are Santa Cruz de la Sierra, El Alto and La Paz. Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and the majority of the population is indigenous or of mixed origin. The main language is Spanish, Aymara and Quechua are also spoken. Roman Catholic religion dominates. Agriculture is the dominant livelihood with the cultivation of potatoes, maize, rice and wheat; in the highlands llamas and sheep are kept, in the lowlands cattle. Bolivia is the world's largest producer of antimony and the second largest producer of tin (as of 1992). The land area was part of the Inca Empire from the 13th century. From 1533, Spanish forces under Francisco Pizzaro conquered Cuzco and Alto Peru ("Upper Peru"). Upper Peru became the Republic of Bolivia in 1825 after Simon Bolivar's conquest. After the war with Chile from 1879, Bolivia lost access to the sea.

Natural Geography

In the west, Bolivia extends into the Andes, where Nevado Sajama is the highest mountain at 6,542 m. The central parts of the country lie on a high mountain plateau, the Altiplano, where most of the population lives. The eastern parts of the country are a lowland area called the Gran Chaco, which is partially covered by the Amazon rainforest. Here is also the country's lowest point, at the river Paraguay, 90 meters above sea level. Lake Titicaca is located on the border between Bolivia and Peru. In the far west is the Salar de Uyuni, which is the world's largest salt flat.

Geology

The mountain ranges and mountainous areas of Bolivia consist of massive compact rocks of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The lower plateaus and watercourse areas consist mainly of clay, sand and gravel. Among the natural resources are tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, lithium, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber and hydropower.

Water and waterways

Bolivia has three major drainage basins: the Amazonas, La Plata and the Altiplano. Bolivia's largest river is the Bolva, which stretches 15 km from the Andes to the Amazon.

Amazon basin

The Amazon basin covers an area of ​​724,000 km², which is 65.9 percent of Bolivia's area. The area is shared with Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia and Peru. The Amazon's largest tributary in Bolivia is the Mamoré, which is 2,000 kilometers long. It joins the 1,113 kilometer Beni to form the Amazon's largest tributary, the Madeira. Other important rivers are the Madre de Dios, Guaporé, Río Blanco, Río Negro, Yata, Tahuamanu, Orthon, Itonomas and Paragúa.

La Plata catchment area

La Plata's catchment area covers an area of ​​229,500 km², which is 20.9 percent of Bolivia's area. The Bolivian tributaries of the Río de la Plata are generally smaller than the Amazon. The main river in the area is the Pilcomayo, which has its source in Oruro at an altitude of 5,200 meters and flows southeast until it joins the Paraguay in Asunción. The river is approximately 1,590 kilometers long of which