Bolivia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

October 31, 2020
Bolivia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

Bolivia is unique. For more than a century it has lacked acoastline, and few of its border regions differ in topography fromits neighbors; the traveler passes into Chile and is still on theAltiplano, or enters Peru without losing sight of Lake Titicaca.Yet however capricious and arbitrary its borders may be, they helpcreate a national psyche—if a divided one, with regional as well asnational identities.Bolivians are a mix of idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies: byturns open and inscrutable, generous with foreigners and tough withcompatriots, self-abnegating and fiercely proud, stoical, andvolatile. But warts are outweighed by virtues, and overall visitorsfind them good-humored, sociable, and welcoming. Despite theirstrong regionalism, they have more common interests than reasons tofight.Bolivia is at a crossroads today. It has to find a way to becomepart of the modern world without surrendering its individuality,guaranteeing its people’s growth and welfare while ensuring genuinebenefits from its enormous natural wealth. It needs at last to copewith the regionalism that resists unification.Culture Smart! Bolivia has been written for all those who arevisiting the country and want to do more than just scratch thesurface. The guide offers valuable insight into Bolivian social andbusiness life, and the traditions, values and attitudes that haveshaped them. Further advice on how to communicate and how to avoidmisunderstandings and cultural faux pas pave the way for a moreenjoyable and engaging trip, whatever your reason fortravelling!