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Author Topic: BOLIVIA  (Read 11001 times)
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Natasha
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« Reply To This #10 on: March 29, 2008, 03:39:47 AM »

Attachment: Amnesty International Report 2007 (Bolivia)
www.amnesty.org

* BOLIVIA- Amnesty International 2007.doc (35 KB - downloaded 143 times.)
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« Reply To This #11 on: April 07, 2008, 10:03:53 PM »

One of the recent loans from Bolivia described the following:

http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=43433

"The group members have a deep-rooted belief system, and this conviction leads them to seek a blessing of their activities. For this, they practice the traditional ritual called “Ch’alla” whereby offerings are made to Pachamama, goddess of the earth, to allow them to succeed in their enterprise."



Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. Pachamama is usually translated as "Mother Earth" but a more literal translation would be "Mother Universe"(in Aymara and Quechua mama = mother / pacha = world, space-time or the universe). Pachamama and Inti are the most benevolent deities and are worshiped in parts of the Andean mountain ranges, also known as Tawantinsuyu (stretching from present day Ecuador to Chile and Argentina).

In Inca mythology, Mama Pacha or Pachamama is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting. She causes earthquakes. Her husband was either Pacha Camac or Inti, depending on the source. Llamas are sacrificed to her. After conquest by Catholic Spain her image was masked by the Virgin Mary, behind whom she is invoked and worshiped in the Indian ritual, in some parts of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.

Since Pachamama is a "good mother", people usually toast to her honor before every meeting or festivity, in some regions by spilling a small amount of chicha on the floor, before drinking the rest. This toast is called "challa" and its made almost everyday. Pachamama has a special worship day called "Martes de challa" (Challa's Tuesday) where people bury food, throw candies, burn incense. In some cases, celebrants assist to traditional priests called "yatiris" in ancient rites to bring good luck or the good will of the goddess, such as sacrificing guinea pigs or burning llama fetuses (although these last two are no longer very common). The festival is after carnival and one day before the Catholic "miércoles de ceniza" (Ash Wednesday).

The central ritual to Pachamama is the Challa or Pago (Payment). It is carried out during all the month of August, and in many places also the first Friday of each month. Other ceremonies are carried out in special times, as upon leaving for a trip or upon passing an apacheta. According to Mario Rabey and Rodolfo Merlino, Argentine anthropologists who studied the Andean culture since the decades from 1970 to that of 1990, "the most important ritual is the challaco. Challaco is a deformation of the quechua words 'ch'allay' and 'ch'allakuy', that refer to the action to insistently sprinkle. In the current language of the peasants of the southern Central Andes, the word 'challar' is used like a synonym of 'to feed and to give drink to the land'. The challaco covers a complex series of ritual steps that begin in the family dwellings the night of the eve, during which cooks a special food, the tijtincha, and that culminate in an eye of water or the beginning of a ditch where is carried out the main ritual to the Mother Earth, with a series of tributes that include food, beverage, leaves of coke and cigars.

The religion centered in the Pachamama is practiced currently in parallel form to the Christianity, to the point such that many families are simultaneously Christian and pachamamistas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachamama

For more information  Link http://boliviahoy.blogspot.com/2008/01/challa-in-bolivian-carnival.html




* Ch'alla.jpg (20.58 KB, 320x240 - viewed 497 times.)

* Ch'alla 1.jpg (21.02 KB, 320x239 - viewed 462 times.)
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redstarr
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« Reply To This #12 on: May 06, 2008, 03:21:46 PM »

Here's a couple of pics of the Bolivian currency, the Boliviano.  This is a One Boliviano coin.  It takes 7.32 Bolivianos to equal one US dollar.  So a 25 dollar loan would be 183 of these.


* boliviano tail.jpg (23.99 KB, 368x355 - viewed 241 times.)

* boliviano.jpg (23.91 KB, 377x351 - viewed 234 times.)
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Evelyn Yvonne Theriault
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« Reply To This #13 on: December 13, 2008, 10:25:13 AM »

Navidad (Christmas) in Bolivia

Link: Museum of Science and Industry
http://www.msichicago.org/scrapbook/scrapbook_exhibits/catw2006/traditions/countries/bolivia.html

Excerpt:
"Traditions:The main focus of the Christmas season in Bolivia is the presebre, or nativity scene, that most families and churches set up. Many are made in the shape of a pyramid with the manger itself at the top. In the bottom of the pyramid, Bolivians often place miniatures of things found in their villages and stores. For example, the presebre of a shoemaker's family would feature dozens of tiny shoes, shoemakers, as well as some of the tools of the trade. Miniatures symbolizing gifts to the baby Jesus, like toys, paintings, and ornaments, are often part of these elaborate manger scenes as well."

Raquel Welch's father was Bolivian. Here's a little recording from The Bay (a Canadian store)



Holiday music from Bolivia:


And now for something more secular!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 10:43:30 AM by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault » Logged

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« Reply To This #14 on: January 25, 2009, 02:46:01 PM »

I saw in the news today that Bolivians will be voting on a new constitution:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/24/MNTF159FPI.DTL

It sounds like there are some definite changes that could be taking place...

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« Reply To This #15 on: January 26, 2009, 01:20:32 AM »

Apparently ~59% of Bolivian voters wanted the new constitution:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/01/23/international/i130627S72.DTL

Quote
Bolivian voters embraced a new constitution Sunday that promises more power for the poor indigenous majority
....
Bolivia's Aymara, Quechua, Guarani and dozens of other indigenous groups only won the right to vote in 1952, when a revolution broke up the large haciendas on which they had lived as peons for generations.
....
But opposition leaders object that the constitution does not reflect Bolivia's growing urban population, which mixes both Indian blood and tradition with a new Western identity, and could leave non-Indians out of the picture. They also oppose Morales' vision of greater state control of the economy.
.....
On Sunday, opposition leaders celebrated as well as five of nine states rejected the constitution.
.....
Sunday's vote went peacefully, a relief for a nation where political tensions have recently turned deadly. In 2007, three college students were killed in anti-government riots, and 13 mostly indigenous Morales supporters died in September when rioters seized government buildings to block a vote on the proposed constitution
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Amy-in-PHX
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« Reply To This #16 on: February 25, 2011, 01:56:16 AM »

The most recent entry in this thread concerning "Kiva country" Bolivia, was two years old and mentioned the fact that the people of Bolivia had just ratified a new constitution for their country in January 2009.  Under their prior constitution, they had elected their first president who is a member of an indigenous ethnic group (Evo Morales) in 2005, and promulgation of the new constitution was one of President Morales's campaign platform planks.  I wanted to learn more about Bolivia's most recent few years, and I am posting here some excerpts that I have copied from the website of the US Department of State.  The full article, called "Background Note:  Bolivia," can be read here:  http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35751.htm


PEOPLE
According to the 2001 census, Bolivia’s ethnic distribution is estimated to be 55% indigenous, 15% European, and 30% mixed or mestizo (all categories are self-identified and answers vary widely depending on how questions are phrased). The largest of the approximately three dozen indigenous groups are the Quechua (29% or 2.5 million), Aymara (24% or 2 million), Chiquitano (1% or 180,000), and Guarani (1% or 125,000). No other indigenous groups represent more than 0.5% of the population. German, Croatian, Serbian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and other minorities also live in Bolivia. Many of these minorities descend from families that have lived in Bolivia for several generations.

Bolivia is one of the least developed countries in South America. Almost two-thirds of its people, many of whom are subsistence farmers, live in poverty. Population density ranges from less than one person per square kilometer in the southeastern plains to about 10 per square kilometer (25 per sq. mi.) in the central highlands. The annual population growth rate is about 1.97%.

The great majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic, although Protestant denominations are expanding rapidly.  Many indigenous communities interweave pre-Columbian and Christian symbols in their religious practices.

Approximately 90% of the children attend primary school but often for a year or less. The literacy rate is low in many rural areas. Under President Morales, a number of areas have been declared “illiteracy free” but the level of literacy is often quite basic, restricted to writing one’s name and recognizing numbers.

Important 20th century Bolivian artists include, among others, Guzman de Rojas, Arturo Borda, Maria Luisa Pacheco, and Marina Nunez del Prado. Bolivia has rich folklore. Its regional folk music is distinctive and varied. The “devil dances” at the annual Oruro carnival are among the great South American folkloric events, as is the lesser known carnival at Tarabuco.



GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
A new constitution was promulgated February 7, 2009, replacing Bolivia’s 1967 constitution. The 2009 constitution provides for legislative, executive, judicial, and "electoral" branches of government.

The new constitution strengthens the executive branch and centralizes political and economic decision-making. It also provides new powers and responsibilities at the departmental, municipal, and regional areas, as well as in newly created indigenous autonomous areas.

ECONOMY
Bolivia’s estimated 2009 gross domestic product (GDP) totaled $17.5 billion. Economic growth was estimated at about 3.7%, and inflation was estimated at about 0.3%.  President Evo Morales nationalized the hydrocarbon sector and expropriated some large international companies,
including Entel (telecommunications) and Vinto (tin smelting). Increased state control of the economy continues to be a primary goal of the Morales administration.  Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have dwindled, as has long-term investment across most industrial sectors.

Bolivian exports were approximately $5.3 billion for 2009, up from $652 million in 1991.  Imports were $4.4 billion in 2009. Bolivia enjoyed an estimated $900 million trade surplus in 2009. Hydrocarbons made up 38.6% of the exports, minerals 28.26%, manufacturing 27.82%, and agriculture 5.32%.

Bolivia’s trade with neighboring countries is growing, in part because of several regional preferential trade agreements. Bolivia is a member of the Andean Community (CAN) and enjoys nominally free trade with other member countries (Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia). Bolivia currently is focused on developing markets through its membership in Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) whose members include Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

Until recently, the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) allowed numerous Bolivian products to enter the United States duty-free, including alpaca and llama products and, subject to a quota, cotton textiles. Effective December 15, 2008, President George W. Bush suspended Bolivia’s participation in the program based on its failure to meet international counternarcotics obligations; meeting those obligations is a criterion in the U.S. statute which created the preference program. On June 30, 2009, President Barack Obama determined that Bolivia was not meeting the program’s eligibility criteria. This determination does not affect Bolivia’s eligibility for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which covers most of Bolivia’s exports to the United States.

Agriculture accounts for roughly 10.44% of Bolivia’s GDP. The amount of land cultivated by modern farming techniques is increasing rapidly in the Santa Cruz area, where climate permits two crops a year. Soybeans are the major cash crop, sold in the CAN market. The extraction of minerals and hydrocarbons accounts for another 14.24% of GDP and manufacturing around 11%.

The Government of Bolivia remains heavily dependent on foreign assistance to finance development projects.  Estimates indicate that as of 2008, the government owed $4.6 billion to foreign creditors. Between 1986 and 1998, Bolivia attended seven rounds of negotiations with Paris Club creditors and received U.S. $1.35 billion of bilateral debt forgiveness. The United States forgave almost all of Bolivia’s bilateral debt between 1999 and 2002 and strongly supported efforts to have multilateral institutions do the same. Bolivia received U.S. $1.95 billion in debt relief from HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) in 1998 and HIPC II in 2001, including almost complete bilateral debt forgiveness.

In June 2005, the G-8 countries decided to provide renewed World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt relief for the 18 participant nations of HIPC I and II through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Bolivia received U.S. $232.5 million in debt relief from the IMF in January 2006 and approximately U.S. $1.5 billion in debt relief from the World Bank in June 2006. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) forgave $1 billion in debt in March 2007.

FOREIGN RELATIONS
Bolivia traditionally has maintained normal diplomatic relations with all hemispheric states except Chile.  Relations with Chile, strained since Bolivia’s defeat in the War of the Pacific (1879-83) and its loss of the coastal province of Atacama, were severed from 1962 to 1975 in a dispute over the use of the waters of the Lauca River. Relations were resumed in 1975, but broken again in 1978, over the inability of the two countries to reach an agreement that might have granted Bolivia sovereign access to the sea. They are maintained today below the ambassadorial level.

Under President Morales, relations between Bolivia and Cuba have improved considerably, and Cuba has sent doctors and teachers to Bolivia.

Relations with Venezuela are close, with the Venezuelan Government providing financial assistance to Bolivian municipalities, the armed forces, and the police since Morales took office.

The Bolivian Government announced in September 2007 that it would pursue diplomatic relations with Iran and Libya, with plans to cooperate in the petrochemical industry and increase Bolivian exports to both countries.

U.S.-BOLIVIAN RELATIONS
The United States and Bolivia have traditionally had cordial and cooperative relations. Development assistance from the United States to Bolivia dates from the 1940s; the U.S. remains a major partner for economic development, improved health, democracy, and the environment. In 1991, the U.S. Government forgave a $341 million debt owed by Bolivia to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as 80% ($31 million) of the amount owed to the Department of Agriculture for food assistance. The United States has also been a strong supporter of forgiveness of Bolivia’s multilateral debt under the HIPC initiatives.

The United States Government channels its development assistance to Bolivia through USAID.  USAID is well known in Bolivia, especially in rural areas where thousands of projects have been implemented. USAID’s programs in Bolivia provide economic opportunities for disadvantaged populations through business development and trade, provide farmers with alternatives to illicit coca cultivation, improve food security, improve family health, strengthen democratic institutions, and promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation.

Bilateral relations have deteriorated sharply during the Morales administration, as the Bolivian Government escalated public attacks against the U.S. Government and began to dismantle key partnerships. In June 2008, the government endorsed the expulsion of USAID from Bolivia’s largest coca-growing region. In a dramatic action which culminated a period of intense Bolivian Government hostility toward the United States, in September 2008, President Morales accused Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg of conspiring against the government, declared him "persona non grata," and expelled him from Bolivia. President Morales never offered proof for his accusation, which the U.S. Government rejected as baseless. In a reciprocal action, the Department of State expelled Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman later that month. In November 2008, President Morales expelled the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from the country, ending a 35-year history of engagement against narcotics production and trafficking.

Since May 2009, the U.S. and Bolivian governments have engaged in a dialogue to improve relations. The Bolivian Government has proposed a new framework agreement to define relations, which is being negotiated as part of the bilateral dialogue. In the meantime, U.S. assistance programs to promote health and welfare, advance economic development, and fight narcotics production and trafficking remain active. 
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Amy-in-PHX
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« Reply To This #17 on: February 25, 2011, 02:05:12 AM »

Evidently Bolivia was named in one or more of the State Dept communications published by Wikileaks.  A Youtube video from two months ago shows President Evo Morales responding to a journalist's question about the content of the document, during a Q&A session following his speech to the UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico.  His remarks are translated into English on the video.

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« Reply To This #18 on: February 25, 2011, 02:12:29 AM »

Thousands left homeless as rains cause floods in Bolivia
24 February 2011 Last updated at 04:24 ET

At least three people have been killed and thousands left homeless in Bolivia after weeks of heavy torrential rains caused massive flooding.

Peru and Bolivia declared a state of emergency.

The worst-hit areas are La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Chuquisaca and Pando, where rivers burst their banks, flooding farmlands and residential areas.

Rain and mudslides have also severed roads in the region.
[The above is from BBC news]
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« Reply To This #19 on: March 01, 2011, 02:32:47 PM »

Over 400 homes were destroyed over the weekend by landslides, after torrential rains, in La Paz.  There is a photo essay here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12594585
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