Background Info

On January 22, 2006, Evo Morales was inaugurated as the first indigenous president of Bolivia. Morales, a farmer, is the first fully native head of state in Bolivia in the 470 years since the Spanish conquest of the region. Morales is Aymara, a people and culture native to the South American altiplano (high plateau).

Morales is known for wearing a distinctive, striped Bolivian sweater known as a chompa rather than a suit and tie. He has worked to advance the causes of the indigenous people of Bolivia, encouraging the teaching of indigenous languages in schools. He has also worked towards returning control of the foreign-owned gas industry to the Bolivian people. In 2007, Morales revised the Bolivian constitution to include more rights for native Bolivians.

Vocabulary

Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

Aymara

Noun

people and culture native to the plateaus between Bolivia and Peru.

conquest

Noun

victory.

farmer

Noun

person who cultivates land and raises crops.

gas

Noun

state of matter with no fixed shape that will fill any container uniformly. Gas molecules are in constant, random motion.

inaugurate

Verb

to make a formal beginning or start.

inauguration

Noun

ceremony that officially marks the beginning of a leader's term in office.

plateau

Noun

large region that is higher than the surrounding area and relatively flat.

Encyclopedic Entry: plateau

region

Noun

any area on the Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

Encyclopedic Entry: region

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Editor

Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

Producer

Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society

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