July 16 – La Paz Local Holiday

Posted on July 16, 2013

Today there will be processions (parades) and dance competitions in Bolivia's largest city, La Paz.

I was surprised to learn that La Paz (which means peace) isn't the official capital city of Bolivia. Instead, a city named Sucre (which means sugar in French) is the official capital – but most of the government's buildings and functions are located in La Paz! La Paz is considered the “de facto” capital, which means that it really acts as the capital, even thought another city is “supposed to be” the capital!

Keeping the “de facto” in mind, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world! It is from 10,500 to 13,500 feet above sea level. The reason I'm telling you the range of altitude instead of just one number (such as my hometown being 720 feet above sea level) is that La Paz crawls up and down hills!

The international airport is also the world's highest. It is almost half as high as a jet plane's cruising altitude! Surprising to me is the fact that the runways at this airport have to be longer than those of other airports—because the air is thinner!

People who fly to La Paz are warned not to hurry through the airport to immigration, to beat the lines. As I said, the air is thinner. Visitors need to walk sl-o-o-o-w-ly to immigration! Altitude sickness is a very real complaint that means that your cells are not getting as much oxygen as they need. But don't worry, if you don't try to move too quickly too soon, your body will start making more red blood cells to carry oxygen—and after a day or two of rest, you will become acclimatized.

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest pages on July holidayshistorical anniversaries in July, and July birthdays.

And here are my Pinterest pages on August holidayshistorical anniversaries in August, and August birthdays.

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