51 Interesting Facts About Bolivia

Last updated on October 9th, 2022

42. Families are closely knit in Bolivia. In rural regions, multiple generations live in a single house together. The family plays a significant role in social life and structure. Men are predominantly the breadwinners, while women look after the household work.

43. A husband’s first surname is added to his wife’s name after the marriage with the connector “de”. So if Jennifer Maria Lopez marries Manuel Sebastien Costa, she would be called Jennifer Maria de Costa.

44. Bolivians enjoy visiting one another. Both arranged and unannounced visits are common. Bolivians exchange gifts at several different occasions.[30]

45. Bolivian families typically have one large and two small meals per day. Upon entering a room where people are eating, Bolivians often say Buen provecho (similar to Bon appétit).[30]

Traditional Bolivian Sopa de Mani
Traditional Bolivian Sopa de Mani (peanut soup) made of meat, pasta, vegetables and ground peanut.

46. The Bolivian diet constitutes of common staples including rice, potatoes, milk products, soups, and fruits. Hundreds of varieties of potatoes are prepared in Bolivia in different ways.[30]

47. Chicken is the most common meat in Bolivia.[30]

48. Some phrases that you may find useful when traveling to Bolivia –

Hello – Hola; Please – Por favor; Thank you – Gracias; Goodbye – Adiós; Yes – Si; No – No.

49. When a passenger boards a bus, it is customary to greet other passengers with “buen dia” or “buenas tardes”.

50. Bolivians eat coca to combat the effects of altitude. As a result of the habit, you can see a bulge in their cheeks.

51. With hundreds of radio stations, radio is important, especially in rural parts of the country.

About the flag of Bolivia

The state flag of Bolivia with coat of arms
The state flag of Bolivia

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of Bolivia is a horizontal tricolor with red, yellow, and green bands. The Bolivian coat of arms adorns the center. The red bar honors the brave soldiers who shed their blood to create and preserve the republic. Meanwhile, the yellow bar represents Bolivia’s wealth and resources. Finally, the green bar signifies the bounty of the natural areas and the hope for a better future.

The coat of arms features a central cartouche. It has a blue border inscribed with “BOLIVIA” on top and ten yellow stars at the bottom. The cartouche contains a painted landscape with a sun rising over hills in the background. A llama, a palm tree, and a sheaf of wheat stand in the foreground.

Each side has a cannon, two rifles, and three national flags. You will find a liberty cap on the left and an ax on the right. A condor with outstretched wings stands at the top, obscuring a wreath made of laurel and olive. All these show a readiness to fight for freedom, reflected in the national motto: “Morir Antes Que Esclavos Vivir” (we’d rather die than live as slaves).

2. Adoption

Bolivia adopted the flag on October 31, 1851. It has two variants: one is a plain tricolor, while the other has a coat of arms.

Flag of Bolivia (civil)
Flag of Bolivia (usage: civil flag and ensign)

3. Technical Details

The flag dimensions have a ratio of 15:22. The three horizontal bars have equal thickness. A 2004 decree specifies the color scheme as Pantone 485 for red, 356 for green, and Process Yellow. The RGB hex values are DA291C, 007A33, and F4E400.

4. History

Colonial Flag

Spain started its conquest of the Inca empire in 1524. It became a colony called Charcas, which used the flag of the Spanish Empire: the ubiquitous red sawtooth Cross of Burgundy on a white field. Forced labor and harsh rule led the locals to revolt.

Republican Flags

In 1809, a revolution marked the beginning of a prolonged war between royalists and patriots. The tide turned multiple times until Bolivia finally proclaimed freedom from Spain and established a republic in 1825. The military leaders Antonio Jose de Sucre and Simon Bolivar became heroes. The name Bolivia is a tribute to Simon Bolivar.

Various flags floated for the new republic. Some had a red field with green bars featuring a star and a wreath. Others had a horizontal tricolor with yellow, red, and green bands. The coat of arms rests at the center of the red bar.

The 1851 Flag

The current flag and national anthem came about during the presidency of Manuel Isidoro Belzu (1848-1855), a populist mestizo who appealed to the poor and indigenous groups. In 1888, President Gregorio Pacheco provided an official description and interpretation of its symbols.

5. Other Flags

The Wiphala

The Wiphala
The Wiphala (official variant flag of Bolivia since 2009.) Image in the public domain.

The flag is a 7×7 square patchwork with the following colors flowing diagonally: yellow (energy), orange (society), red (Earth), violet (government), blue (cosmos), green (wealth), and white (time). It represents native Andes people across South America. In 2009, it became an official variant flag of Bolivia.

Maritime Claim Flag

Landlocked Bolivia has navy vessels on rivers and lakes. They use a blue flag with miniature versions of the national flag and the Wiphala on the top left, surrounded by nine stars. Another yellow star appears separately on the lower right.

Bolivia – country at a glance

Independence6 August 1825 (from Spain)
Capital CitySucre and La Paz
Largest CitySanta Cruz de la Sierra
Areatotal:1,098,581 sq km

land: 1,083,301 sq km

water: 15,280 sq km
Population12,054,379 (2022 est.)
Literacy ratetotal population: 92.5%
Official LanguageSpanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guarani,
and 33 other native languages (total 37 official languages)
BordersArgentina 942 km, Brazil 3403 km, Chile 942 km, Paraguay 753 km, Peru 1212 km
Suffrage18 years of age, universal and compulsory
CurrencyBoliviano (BOB)
ReligionCatholic Christians
Life expectancy at birth72.5 years (2022)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentLuis Arce
Vice PresidentDavid Choquehuanca
HolidaysNew Year’s Day,
Carnaval (Saturday before Ash Wednesday),
Día del Mar, or Sea Day (23 March, when Bolivians remember the war with Chile in which Bolivia lost ocean access),
Holy Week before Easter,
Father’s Day (19 Mar.), Labor Day (1 May), Mother’s Day (27 May),
Independence Day (6 Aug.),
All Saints’ Day (1 November, a day for the family to clean and
decorate ancestral graves and enjoy a picnic),
and Christmas.
Climatevaries with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid
Terrainrugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin
Mean elevation1,192 m
Lowest pointRio Paraguay 90 m
Highest pointNevado Sajama 6,542 m
Natural resourcestin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower
Agricultural land34.3%
Birth rate18.61 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate6.48 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio1.01 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
National anthem"Cancion Patriotica" (Patriotic Song)
National symbolllama, Andean condor
National colorsred, yellow, green
Industriesmining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry
Exports$7.55 billion (2020 est.)
natural gas, gold, zinc, soybean oil and soy products, tin, silver, lead (2019)
Imports$8.27 billion
cars, refined petroleum, delivery trucks, iron, buses (2019)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$7,900 (2020 est.)
Internet country code.bo
Time ZoneBOT (UTC−4)
Calling Code+591
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedAugust 02, 2022