Bolivia the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre; the largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales a flat region in the east of Bolivia. The sovereign state of Bolivia is a constitutionally unitary state, divided into nine departments, its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the southeast by Paraguay, to the south by Argentina, to the southwest by Chile, to the northwest by Peru. One-third of the country is within the Andean mountain range. With 1,098,581 km2 of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, the 27th largest in the world and the largest landlocked country in the Southern Hemisphere; the country's population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans and Africans.
The racial and social segregation that arose from Spanish colonialism has continued to the modern era. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36 indigenous languages have official status, of which the most spoken are Guarani and Quechua languages. Before Spanish colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire, while the northern and eastern lowlands were inhabited by independent tribes. Spanish conquistadors arriving from Cuzco and Asunción took control of the region in the 16th century. During the Spanish colonial period Bolivia was administered by the Royal Audiencia of Charcas. Spain built its empire in large part upon the silver, extracted from Bolivia's mines. After the first call for independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar. Over the course of the 19th and early 20th century Bolivia lost control of several peripheral territories to neighboring countries including the seizure of its coastline by Chile in 1879.
Bolivia remained politically stable until 1971, when Hugo Banzer led a coup d'état which replaced the socialist government of Juan José Torres with a military dictatorship headed by Banzer. Banzer's regime cracked down on leftist and socialist opposition and other forms of dissent, resulting in the torture and deaths of a number of Bolivian citizens. Banzer was ousted in 1978 and returned as the democratically elected president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001. Modern Bolivia is a charter member of the UN, IMF, NAM, OAS, ACTO, Bank of the South, ALBA and USAN. For over a decade Bolivia has had one of the highest economic growth rates in Latin America, it is a developing country, with a medium ranking in the Human Development Index, a poverty level of 38.6%, one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing and manufacturing goods such as textiles, refined metals, refined petroleum. Bolivia is rich in minerals, including tin and lithium. Bolivia is named after Simón Bolívar, a Venezuelan leader in the Spanish American wars of independence.
The leader of Venezuela, Antonio José de Sucre, had been given the option by Bolívar to either unite Charcas with the newly formed Republic of Peru, to unite with the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, or to formally declare its independence from Spain as a wholly independent state. Sucre opted to create a brand new state and on 6 August 1825, with local support, named it in honor of Simón Bolívar; the original name was Republic of Bolívar. Some days congressman Manuel Martín Cruz proposed: "If from Romulus comes Rome from Bolívar comes Bolivia"; the name was approved by the Republic on 3 October 1825. In 2009, a new constitution changed the country's official name to "Plurinational State of Bolivia" in recognition of the multi-ethnic nature of the country and the enhanced position of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under the new constitution; the region now known as Bolivia had been occupied for over 2,500 years. However, present-day Aymara associate themselves with the ancient civilization of the Tiwanaku culture which had its capital at Tiwanaku, in Western Bolivia.
The capital city of Tiwanaku dates from as early as 1500 BC when it was a small, agriculturally based village. The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, the city covered 6.5 square kilometers at its maximum extent and had between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. In 1996 satellite imaging was used to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people. Around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru and Chile. Tiwanaku was not a violent culture in many respects. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku exercised great political astuteness, creating colonies, fostering trade agree
Río Pilcomayo National Park
The Río Pilcomayo National Park is a national park located in the northeastern part of the Argentine province of Formosa, on the border with Paraguay. Established on September 29, 1951 to protect the natural features, typical of the Humid Chaco ecoregion, the park is included in the Ramsar Convention's list of wetlands of international importance; the park occupies a large plain, formed when a depression in Paleozoic crystalline rocks was filled with organic and inorganic sediments, thus creating a sedimentary basin. The uppermost sediment levels are of aeolian origin; the eastern parts of the park are dominated by silts and clays, creating less permeable soils, while the western parts contain soils that are coarser and more porous. There are faults that were generated during formation of the Andes, lying parallel to the Paraguay River. While the park's territory is sloping down from west to east, there is little variety in elevation; the subtle differences become important in times of heavy rains and floods, when the area becomes inundated with pools of water connected by channels forming in the most low-lying areas.
The Pilcomayo River, after which the park is named, is the main watercourse of the area. During the wet season, the river and its tributaries flood the nearby areas, creating large swaths of interconnected lakes and marshes, most of which are temporary; the southern end of the park contains a larger lake called Laguna Blanca, a habitat for many waterfowl species and a resting point for migratory bird species coming from the Northern Hemisphere. The park is located in a subtropical zone with annual mean temperature of 23 °C and annual mean precipitation of 1,200 millimetres. Summer temperatures can exceed 40 °C. Winters are dry, while precipitation peaks in November; the area is affected by frequent tornadoes. For the purposes of classifying the park's types of plants, the area can be divided into 4 distinct zones. One is savanna, dominated by the Caranday wax palm, an unofficial emblem of the area, towering over a dense cover of herbaceous plants. Other trees include such species as Acacia caven and Prosopis nigra.
Wetlands are dominated by aquatic vegetation. Floating plants include water hyacinths, Limnocharitaceae and Ludwigia. Another distinct zone is adjacent to the Pilcomayo River and its former channels, which are flooded, it is dominated by riparian vegetation. Figs and sweetwood trees can be found there, covered by many species of lianas and epiphytes; the patchy vegetation of the higher lands, forming distinctive "mountain islands", represent the fourth zone. Quebracho trees can be found there. Higher lands are inhabited by such mammals as the gray brocket, peccary, howler monkey and puma; the maned wolf can be found in the lowlands, along with such birds as seriemas. Aquatic environments are inhabited by storks, roseate spoonbills and ducks. There are two caiman species: the yacare caiman; the fish population includes species from the Hoplosternum that can use atmospheric air and thus tolerate droughts that affect shallow water bodies in the area. The snake population is represented by species such as the yellow anaconda and Hydrodynastes gigas, a large water snake
Lake Poopó is a large saline lake located in a shallow depression in the Altiplano Mountains in Oruro Department, Bolivia, at an altitude of 3,700 m. Because the lake was long and wide, it made up the eastern half of the department, known as a mining region in southwest Bolivia; the permanent part of the lake body covered 1,000 square kilometres and it was the second-largest lake in the country. The lake received most of its water from the Desaguadero River, which flows from Lake Titicaca at the north end of the Altiplano. Since the lake lacked any major outlet and had a mean depth of less than 3 m, the surface area differed on a seasonal basis. In 2002 the lake was designated as a site for conservation under the Ramsar Convention. By December 2015, the lake had dried up, leaving only a few marshy areas. Although the lake has dried up a couple of times in the past, it does not appear that it will recover this time. Suggested causes of the decline are the melting of the Andes glaciers and loss of their waters, because of a drought due to climate change, as well as continued diversion of water for mining and agriculture.
Archaeological investigations conducted by the San Andrés University of La Paz, shows the influence of the Wankarani culture in the Poopó area. Complex central urban areas, such as villages and towns, were developed that expanded into the Poopó basin during the Late Formative period in conjunction with changing patterns of agriculture. Herders and the life style of llama caravan merchants coexisted with more sedentary farmers in a harmonious system of exchange of goods and services. Other investigators examining the following period, the Early Regional Developments, have concluded that the size of the inhabited areas increased; the South Poopó inhabitants developed a unique style of ceramics style with triangular spirals. The east portion of the lake has evidence of an important Tiwanaku enclave, with ceramic styles from the core Titicaca area and surrounding styles, demonstrating the interactions between different peoples in the area; the main inlet of Lake Poopó comes from the Desaguadero River, which enters the lake at the north end.
It flows south from Lake Titicaca. There are numerous smaller inlets along the eastern shore of the lake, many of which are dry most of the year. At times of high water levels, Poopó was connected to the salt desert Salar de Coipasa in the west. A minor outlet leads to Salar de Uyuni in the far south of the Altiplano, but as the lake lacks any major outlet, it is classified as an endorheic basin; when the water level of Lake Titicaca drops below 3,810 m, the flow of Desaguadero River is so low it can no longer compensate for the massive water losses due to evaporation from the surface of Lake Poopó. At this point, the lake volume begins to decrease. At its maximum in 1986, the lake had an area of 3,500 km2. During the years that followed, the surface area decreased until 1994, when the lake disappeared completely; the time period between 1975 and 1992 is the longest period in recent times when the lake had a continuous water body. Renewed rainfalls in the mid 90s revitalized the lake again. Action has been taken in order to make the area ecologically sustainable again, with the help of funding from the European Union.
But the efforts have not been unable to offset other changes: since 1995 regional temperatures have risen and tripled the evaporation rates. In addition, water was drawn off for irrigation, compounding the problems. On 20 January 2016 the area was declared a disaster zone by the Bolivian government; the water of Lake Poopó is saline. The salinity is a result of the endorheic nature of the hydrological system on the Altiplano, which allows all weathered ions to remain in the system; the salinity of Lake Poopó is further increased by the arid climate and the high evaporation from the lake surface. In the northern end of Lake Poopó, dilution of the salinity occurs due to freshwater flow from the Desaguadero River; the salt gradient of the water increases towards the south. The salinity varies with water volume. During October and November 2006, the salinity in the north end of the lake varied between brackish and saline. In the south end of the lake the water was classified as a brine; the water type is a 4–2 Na--Cl-.
Geological sources of sodium chloride, such as halite and feldspars, are present in the drainage area. These could contribute to the salinity of Lake Poopó; the lake body is situated on top of Cenozoic deposits, consisting of unconsolidated material. These sediments are the remains of extensive prehistoric lakes, which covered the Altiplano during at least five glaciation periods. There is a long tradition of mining in the Poopó Basin. Extraction of metals was ordered in the 13th century to support the Inca army. After Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the mining operations increased in scale. At this point the region became known as one of the mining centres of Bolivia. In the late 19th century, mining was taken over by the Colón Poopó Extraction Company; the mining districts are situated at the foothills of the Cordillera Oriental along the eastern border of the Poopó basin. The most important minerals to the economy are tin. Studies have shown elevated concentrations of heavy metals in surface and ground waters of the Poopó basin.
These metals are present in the bedrock, from which they are released through weathering processes. The mining activities in the area further contributes to the heavy metal poll
South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere in the Southern Hemisphere, with a small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas; the reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics. It is bordered on the west on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean, it includes twelve sovereign states, a part of France, a non-sovereign area. In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Tobago, Panama may be considered part of South America. South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers, its population as of 2016 has been estimated at more than 420 million. South America ranks fourth in fifth in population. Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina and Peru. In recent decades Brazil has concentrated half of the region's GDP and has become a first regional power.
Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America is dominated by the Andes mountains. Most of the continent lies in the tropics; the continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish, societies and states reflect Western traditions. South America occupies the southern portion of the Americas; the continent is delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia–Panama border, although some may consider the border instead to be the Panama Canal. Geopolitically and geographically all of Panama – including the segment east of the Panama Canal in the isthmus – is included in North America alone and among the countries of Central America.
All of mainland South America sits on the South American Plate. South America is home to Angel Falls in Venezuela. South America's major mineral resources are gold, copper, iron ore and petroleum; these resources found in South America have brought high income to its countries in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity has hindered the development of diversified economies; the fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export. South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth. South America is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, piranha, vicuña, tapir; the Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity, containing a major proportion of the Earth's species.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the continent's land area and population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among three regions: The Andean States, the Guianas and the Southern Cone. Traditionally, South America includes some of the nearby islands. Aruba, Curaçao, Trinidad and the federal dependencies of Venezuela sit on the northerly South American continental shelf and are considered part of the continent. Geo-politically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean are grouped as a part or subregion of North America, since they are more distant on the Caribbean Plate though San Andres and Providencia are politically part of Colombia and Aves Island is controlled by Venezuela. Other islands that are included with South America are the Galápagos Islands that belong to Ecuador and Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island, Chiloé and Tierra del Fuego. In the Atlantic, Brazil owns Fernando de Noronha and Martim Vaz, the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, while the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom, whose sovereignty over the islands is disputed by Argentina.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands may be associate
The Paraguay River is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. It flows about 2,621 kilometres from its headwaters in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso to its confluence with the Paraná River north of Corrientes and Resistencia; the Paraguay's source is south of Diamantino in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. It follows a southwesterly course, passing through the Brazilian city of Cáceres, it turns in a southward direction, flowing through the Pantanal wetlands, the city of Corumbá running close to the Brazil-Bolivia border for a short distance in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. From the city of Puerto Bahia Negra, the river forms the border between Paraguay and Brazil, flowing due south before the confluence with the Apa River; the Paraguay makes a long, gentle curve to the south-southeast before resuming a more south-southwesterly course, dividing the country of Paraguay into two distinct halves: the Gran Chaco region to the west, a uninhabited semi-arid region.
As such the river is considered the key geographical feature of the country with which it shares its name. Some 400 kilometres after flowing through the middle of Paraguay, at the confluence with the Pilcomayo River and passing the Paraguayan capital city, Asunción, the river forms the border with Argentina, flowing south-southwesterly for another 275 kilometres before it reaches its end, joining with the Paraná River; the Paraguay River is the second major river of the Rio de la Plata Basin, after the Paraná River. The Paraguay's drainage basin, about 1,095,000 square kilometres, covers a vast area that includes major portions of Argentina, southern Brazil, parts of Bolivia, most of the country of Paraguay. Unlike many of the other great rivers of the Rio de la Plata Basin, the Paraguay has not been dammed for hydroelectric power generation; this makes it an important shipping and trade corridor, providing a much-needed link to the Atlantic Ocean for the otherwise landlocked nations of Paraguay and Bolivia.
It serves such important cities as Concepción in Paraguay and Formosa in Argentina. The river is a source of commerce in the form of fishing, provides irrigation for agriculture along its route; as such it provides a way of life for a number of poor fishermen who live along its banks and make the majority of their income selling fish in local markets, as well as supplying a major source of sustenance for their families. This has created issues in large cities such as Asunción, where poverty-stricken farmers from the country's interior have populated the river's banks in search of an easier lifestyle. Seasonal flooding of the river's banks sometimes forces many thousands of displaced residents to seek temporary shelter until the waters recede from their homes; the Paraguayan military has been forced to dedicate land on one of its reserves in the capital to emergency housing for these displaced citizens. The river is a tourist attraction for its beauty; the Paraguay River is the primary waterway of the 147,629-square-kilometre Pantanal wetlands of southern Brazil, northern Paraguay and parts of Bolivia.
The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland and is dependent upon waters provided by the Paraguay River. Owing to its importance as a navigable waterway serving Brazil and Paraguay, the river has been the focus of commercial and industrial development. In 1997 the governments of the nations of the La Plata Basin proposed a plan under the Hidrovia Inter-Governmental Commission agency to develop the rivers into an industrial waterway system to help reduce the costs of exporting goods from the area, in particular the soybean crop that the area has embraced; the plan entailed constructing more hydroelectric dams along some of the waterways, along with a massive effort to restructure the navigable waterways—most notably the Paraguay River—through dredging of the waterway, rock removal and channel restructuring. Studies indicated that the proposed river engineering of the Paraguay would have a devastating impact on the Pantanal wetlands. An effort by the Rios Vivos coalition to educate people on the effects of the project was successful in delaying the project, the nations involved agreed to reformulate their plan.
The final plan is still uncertain, along with the effect it will have on the Pantanal and the ecology of the entire Río de la Plata basin. The controversy over whether or not the project will have a disastrous effect on the local ecology, as well as the potential economic gains, continues to this day; the Paraguay River basin includes several distinctive habitats, ranging from clear waters such as Rio da Prata near Bonito in the upper part to the sediment-rich Bermejo River in the lower part. The suspended load of the Paraguay River is about 100 milligrams per litre before the inflow of Bermejo, but rises to about 600 milligrams per litre after. Directly after the inflow of Bermejo River, the pH of the Paraguay River may reach up to 8.2. The typical pH of the Paraguay River is 6.3 -- 7.9 in the lower part. The peak of the flood season in the Paraguay River is delayed 4—6 months compared to the peak of the rainy season due to t
Chuquisaca is a department of Bolivia located in the center south. It borders on the departments of Cochabamba, Potosí, Santa Cruz; the departmental capital is Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia. The department is traversed by the main cordillera of the Andes mountain range and lesser cordilleras. Parts of it lie within the basin of the Amazon River, other parts within the basin of the Río de La Plata; the surface area of the department is 51,524 square kilometers. The topography of central Chuquisaca consists of a series of ridges rising up to 1500 m that run north and south with flat valleys between the ridges. To the west of these ridges abruptly rise the Andes Mountains to 3000 m forming a prepuna landmass, cut into by large river valleys that drain into the Amazon or Rio de la Plata river basins. To the east of the central ridges lies a stretch of territory containing low altitude flat Chaco topography. 90% of the land in the department of Chuquisaca has an inclination of 70% or more.
Ecological and vegetation zones in the department of Chuquisaca vary according to a diversity of abiotic factors including soil formation and textures, rainfall patterns, mineral and salinity content of water. Altitude plays an important role in the dispersion of vegetation species and wider ecosystems as they respond to microclimates; as the Andes Mountains became uplifted, plants adapted to dryer and higher microclimates resulting in a high level of speciation in the dry forest river valleys of the Bolivian-Tucuman formation. Colder and drier air from more austral parts of South America have resulted in migration of plant communities with a floristic connection to those in Argentina and Southern Brazil as opposed to more tropical plant communities that result from warm and moist northern climates. Navarro and Ferreira have developed a database of plant species in Bolivia and identified 39 separate vegetation zones in Bolivia within twelve general physiographic-biogeographical units of which four fall in the boundaries of Chuquisaca Department including: Cordillera Oriental Central y Meridional, Prepuna or High Interandean Valleys, Bolivian-Tucuman Formation, Chaco.
Using Navarro and Ferreira’s categories and descriptions based on vegetation zones, the geographical and ecological characteristics of the Chuquisaca Department can be described as follows. Cordillera Oriental Central y Meridional: From an altitude of 3200m in Chuquisaca to nearly 6000 meters in Potosi, this zone is characterized by the puna and subnival and nival ecological zones with a pluviestacional subhumed bioclimate. Prepuna or High Interandean Valleys: From 2300m to 3200m, this zone is characterized by a mesotropical dry xeric bioclimatic zone. Seasonally torrential waters and salinity levels affect regional vegetation patterns in this zone. Bolivian-Tucuman Formation: With a wide altitude range between 600m to 3900m this zone contains pluviestacional subhumid and locally humid bioclimatic zones; the high altitude Rio Grande and Pilcomayo river valleys transect this unit and are characterized by dry xeric vegetation zones with endemic and varied speciation in the Rio Grande river valley and vegetation influence from the Chaco in the Pilcomayo river valley.
Wet forest ecosystems like those found in more northern Yungas valleys are found on high ridges where clouds form. Chaco: from 400–900 m this unit is characterized by a xeric bioclimate. Sandy soils in this unit were formed from alluvial processes from the Grande rivers. Soil drainage affects vegetation dispersion within this unit. With a human population of 631,000 people humans are a part of the ecology of Chuquisaca; the grazing of cattle and introduction of invasive feral citrus trees has affected the native plant populations in the department. Native forests and ecosystems have contracted as land has been converted to pasture and erosion is widespread as a result of human agricultural activities on steep slopes; the chief executive office of Bolivia departments is the governor. The current governor, Esteban Urquizu Cuéllar of the Movement for Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples was elected on 4 April 2010. Under the 2009 Constitution, each Bolivian department has an elected Departmental Legislative Assembly.
The first elections were held 4 April 2010. The majority party in the twenty-one member assembly is the Movement towards Socialism with 15 seats. Four seats are held by We Are All Chuquisaca. Two seats were selected by the Guaraní people through usos y costumbres; the department is divided into 10 provinces which are further subdivided into municipalities and cantons. The native inhabitants were the Charcas, who were dispersed along lowlands, their leaders, jampiris and priests resided in the capital, Choque-Chaca, which according to 17th century chronicles had a population of several thousand. Sucre is called the city of the four names, each name corresponding to a different period of its history, it was founded by the Spaniard Pedro de Anzures in 1538. It thrived due to its regional proximity to the famous silver mines of Potosi, as Charcas served as capital of the Real Audiencia de Charcas, encompassing all of current Bolivia's territory and more. Reverting to its native name of Chuquisaca, it was the Upper Peru's chief administrative center and largest city.
It was there that the first public call for independence from Spain took place, on May 25, 1809, where the Act of Independence from Spanish rule was signed on August 6, 1825