Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Plurinational State of Bolivia
  • Gained independence from Spain in 1825
  • Originally part of the Inca Empire before being conquered by Spain
  • Location:  Central South America, southwest of Brazil
  • Population:  10.9 million
  • Capital:  La Paz – 1.6 million
  • Climate:  varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid
  • Ethnic groups:  Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%
  • Languages:  Spanish, Aymara, Quechua and as many as 34 indigenous dialects
  • Religions: Christianity -95% Roman Catholic, 5% Protestant
  • Literacy:  87% of those 15 years and older can read and write
  • Economy:  poorest and least developed country in South America.  UN status:  Repressed.  7.8% unemployment, 30.3% of the people live below the poverty line
  • 3rd largest cocaine producer in the world
  • Current weather conditions –  www.weather.com
  • Tips for Travel in country – www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates –  www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • A Unitary Presidential Republic
  • the new constitution defines Bolivia as a “Social Unitarian State”
  • the Chief of State and Head of Government:  President Evo Morales – elected by popular vote

Healthcare Statistics

  • Live expectancy:  64 yrs./men, 67 yrs./women
  • Health expenditures:  4.8% of GDP
  • Physicians density:  1.2 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density:  1.1 beds/1,000 population
  • HIV/AIDS  – adult prevalence rate:  0.2%
  • Maternal mortality rate:  187/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate:  42/1000 births
  • Infectious diseases- rate of risk -HIGH
  • Infectious diseases:  bacterial diarrhea, Hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria and  leptospirosis
  • Majority of the population has no insurance or access to health care.
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field


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Area Agencies

Field Stories

Mission trips as a non-medical volunteer …. Think you don’t have a skill set that can help on a mission trip? You are wrong! Just because you are not a health provider does not mean you have nothing to offer on mission trips! There is much more than just seeing and treating patients on these […]

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