Bolivia comprises four geographic regions: the central plateau-or altiplano-in the Andes Mountains, the Lake Titicaca region, the central region's semitropical rain forests, and the hot, humid lowlands of the east.

Bolivia is the least-developed country in South America. Compassion works mainly among the Indian highlanders, who make beautiful handwoven textiles from the wool of alpacas and llamas, animals that also provide milk, meat, and transport. Corn and potatoes are staples of the Indian diet.

Originally part of the Inca empire, Bolivia came under Spanish rule in 1535 after being conquered by Hernando Pizarro. Struggle against Spain began in 1809, and Bolivia won independence in 1825. Until the end of the nineteenth century, there were many coups and short-lived constitutions, with few stable periods in between. The period from 1952 to 1964 was marked by significant economic and social reforms, and a new constitution was adopted in 1967; however, civil unrest continues to dominate Bolivia's politics.

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