Bolivia is a landlocked country in western South America, nestled in the Andean mountains. Its population is estimated to be 11 million, with multiple ethnicities represented including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians and Africans. Having been colonized by Spain in the 16th century, Bolivia is named for Simón Bolivar who led the country to independence in the early 19th century.
The country’s economy is tied to its rich mineral deposits including tin, silver, lithium, and copper. Its climate is varied with polar temperatures in the mountainous regions and sub-tropical temperatures in others. Bolivia’s variable altitudes also is a contributing factor to its rich biodiversity. Bolivia has more than 2,900 animal species, including 398 mammals and over 1,400 birds, 204 amphibians, 277 reptiles, and 635 fish, all freshwater.