9 facts about Bolivia: How many do you know?

29 September 2016

Elizabeth and Modesto with their young son. Our projects in Bolivia will help families like theirs to grow more food.

Our Hands On project will help families in Bolivia to grow more food.

Bolivia is often known for its tourist destinations – the bustling city of La Paz, floating islands on Lake Titicaca and vast salt flats. But what else do you know about Bolivia?

This map shows Bolivia - a landlocked country in South America
1. Bolivia has 37 official languages

In addition to Spanish, there are 36 official indigenous languages. The four most widely spoken indigenous languages are Aymara, Quechua, Chiquitano and Guaraní.

2. Bolivia is twice the size of France

Bolivia is 1,098,581 square kilometres in size but has a population of a little under 11 million, which is about the same as Paris.

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3. It gets really hot in Bolivia

The sun in Bolivia is fierce. A world-record UV index of 43.3 was detected at Bolivia's Licancabur volcano in 2003. The UV index in the UK rarely goes above 8.

4. It also gets really cold in Bolivia

Temperatures regularly drop below freezing. The lowest temperature recorded in Bolivia was -25.7oC in Uyuni on the edge of the salt flats.

5. The driest place on earth is in Bolivia

The Atacama Desert, which is the driest place in the world, stretches through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.

6. Farming is a way of life

About 40% of the population of Bolivia are farmers.

7. Most Bolivians are Catholic

Approximately 75% of people in Bolivia are Catholic.

Watch this prayer by Vladamir, one of the farmers who will be working with our Hands On Altiplano project

8. Almost half of Bolivians live below the poverty line

This means they survive on less than $1 a day.

9. Malnutrition is a widespread problem

37% of children in rural areas suffer from stunting due to malnutrition. When a child’s growth is stunted because of malnutrition, often the effects are permanent and children never regain their lost height or weight.

Learn more about CAFOD's work in Bolivia

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