About Bolivia
Discover this country's culture, history, and more

Communities in this country:


Bolivia, a landlocked country in west central South America, borders Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, and Peru. On a high plateau between two Andes Mountain ranges lies the Uyuni salt bed, the largest concentration of salt in the world.

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  • Population
  • Land mass
    424,164 sq. mi.
  • Life Expectancy
    67 years
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate
  • Literacy Rate
  • School Enrollment
  • Access to Safe Water
  • Average Annual Income (GNI)

US Comparison to Bolivia

Bolivia United States
Land Mass
3,794,083 sq miles
Life Expectancy
67 years
78 years
Infant Mortality
Literacy Rate
School Enrollment
Access to Safe Water
Average Annual Income
Statistics from UNICEF & World Factbook

  • Despite Bolivia being a country rich with resources, it is still one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Around 7 percent of the population is unemployed, and 45 percent is below the poverty line. Bolivia also has the highest income inequality in Latin America.
  • Violence against women has been increasing recently. Cases are seldom reported.
  • Educational opportunities are very unevenly distributed. Girls and children who live in rural areas are less likely to go to school.

Child Sponsorship

Through sponsorship, World Vision is partnering with families and communities to help meet immediate needs and promote lasting changes that will strengthen communities and move families toward self-reliance.

Each year sponsors receive updates about their sponsored child and their community. Sponsors also learn about the child's continuing activities and new accomplishments so when they correspond with their child, they can encourage them in their education, hobbies and endeavors.

The commitment of World Vision sponsors helps provide children with love, hope, and opportunities for a healthy, productive future. May God bless sponsors as they make a lasting difference in the life of a special child.

World Vision in Bolivia Today

World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Bolivia to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 19,200 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Bolivia. Highlights include:

  • Improving availability and access to food for the most vulnerable families and communities.
  • Providing families with housing, food, clothing, and water during disasters such as droughts, landslides, and flooding.
  • Fighting violence against children by working with government in creating norms and conditions to protect children's rights.
  • Offering loans to disadvantaged Bolivians, allowing them to generate income through agriculture, raising livestock, neighborhood services, and local trade.

World Vision History in Bolivia

World Vision involvement in Bolivia began with a 1965 pastors conference. Child sponsorship began in 1975. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

  • Sponsoring children and establishing orphanages and childcare centers since the 1970s.
  • Supplying potatoes, vegetable seeds, and water pumps to Bolivians affected by a major drought during the 1980s.
  • Providing books, tables, and chairs to school children in the 1990s.
  • Training community healthcare providers, and teaching children the importance of dental and general hygiene care during the 1990s.
  • Offering educational programs, family healthcare, agricultural training, and human rights advocacy since the beginning of the 21st century.

Geography & People

Geography and people

Bolivia, a landlocked country in west central South America, borders Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, and Peru. On a high plateau between two Andes Mountain ranges lies the Uyuni salt bed, the largest concentration of salt in the world. Lowland plains, gently rolling hills, and a dense tropical rainforest are in the east.

Natural resources include gold, silver, tin, zinc, iron, oil, natural gas, timber, and hydropower.

Most of Bolivia’s residents are Native American or mestizo, of mixed Spanish and Native American descent. The majority of Caucasian Bolivians, who make up 15 percent of the population, are of Spanish descent. The official language is Spanish; Bolivians also speak the Aymara and Quechua languages.

Because roads are frequently flooded, the delivery and receipt of mail can be slow. It may take several months for residents to receive or reply to any correspondence.


Bolivia was once a part of the Inca Empire before the 16th century, when Spanish forces took control of the area. After several years of struggle with Spain, the territory won its independence in 1825 and named itself after Simón Bolivar, who helped in the liberation.

Bolivia has a long history of coups and civil conflicts. In 1982, the government returned to civilian democratic rule. Over the years, leaders have struggled to address social issues such as poverty and drugs.

Carlos Mesa became president in 2003 during a controversy about the exploitation of the country’s natural gas reserve. Mesa resigned less than two years later amid protests over the rising price of fuel.

Bolivian Amerindian activist Evo Morales won the presidency in December 2005 and 2009, becoming the country’s first indigenous president. His leadership continues to address social issues and to push for improvement.

Prayer Requests for Bolivia

Please pray for:

Children to be safe and free from fear.

Job opportunities for people who are struggling to meet their children’s needs.

Community News

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

Christian Commitment

  • World Vision partnered with local churches to improve the lives of children and their families, and to teach about responsibility, leadership, self-esteem, and the surpassing love of Jesus Christ.


  • World Vision organized nutrition education classes for parents and healthcare staff in order to reduce malnutrition for children.
  • Parents, teachers, and healthcare workers were trained in an approach to children's health known as Integrated Management of Childhood Illness with Christian Values (IMCI). IMCI focuses on the well-being of the whole child to reduce illness and promote development. The goal is to improve preventive and curative health at clinics and at homes.


  • Children received extra help with math and language classes in order to improve their academic performance and help them succeed in their education.
  • Teachers were trained on how to innovate their teaching methods in order to enhance their students' academic, communication, and reasoning skills.

Child Rights

  • Local youth networks were created in order to monitor the well-being of children and adolescents, and to raise awareness about the importance of protecting children and reporting abuse.
  • Children, adolescents, teachers and parents have worked to free their communities from violence. They have also received training about child rights and how to prevent abuses so that children live in a safe environment.

If you have any questions or need help with your My World Vision account, please call: 1-800-678-2168