With over 62 percent of the population claiming indigenous heritage, Bolivia is home to the largest indigenous population in Latin America. Bolivia is the reflection of a past that is rich in rituals, traditions, and its culture, which is a mix and match of various races and full- blooded indigenous, including Aymará, Quechua, Guaraní and over 30 other ethnic groups.
The country holds some of the world's richest natural resources and yet, has the lowest per-capita income in the region. With a population of 10.50 million, and 51.4 percent of the country’s population living below the poverty line, Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America, 2 and continues to face significant developmental challenges. The country ranks 108th out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index.
From Bolivia: Meet the Artisans
Founded in 1978, Artesania Sorata provides work for families with low income in Bolivia. All products are made entirely by hand and generate an income that enables the artisans to provide a higher standard of living for the artisans and their families. Artesania Sorata supports adult literacy and health programs as well as creativity workshops in state children’s homes and a children’s hearing program.
Asociación de Artesanos Andino, located in the Arque and Tapacari provinces of Bolivia aims to provide a higher level of life for its artisans. All products are handmade following tradition continued through many generations. The unique textiles are made with natural dyes by women from one of the most impoverished areas of Cochabamba. They seek to promote and sell crafts with cultural identity in order to provide fair wages for the female artisans
Bolivia Fair Trade supports artisan groups, cooperatives, small businesses and entrepreneurial initiatives in Bolivia and helps them bring their products to market. They are committed to fair trade and improving the living conditions for the people in Bolivia. They help each artisan by providing technical assistance and quality control during production and ensuring healthy and safe working conditions.
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION
The result of perpetual rights violations by the Bolivian government against its people has fueled a palpable sense of desperation and anger throughout the country. Abuse of women and children is widespread and goes unreported or unpunished.
Bolivia still exhibits pronounced income inequality between different population groups and geographic areas, as well as a persistent social exclusion for indigenous peoples and women. Women's individual, economic, and social rights are inferior to those of men, severely limiting their ability to be agents for economic and social change. In spite of ranking 30th of 135 countries in the Global Gender Gap, the majority of Bolivia's rural women still have little access to health services, education, training, credit or technical assistance, constrains that put a strain on poor women across the country.