Posted on January 22, 2018
When I write about Bolivia (like here and here), I often mention the man who is considered the most famous Bolivian:
Why is this guy so famous?
Morales is Bolivia's first indigenous (indio / Indian / aboriginal or native) president. Actually, he is the first indigenous president in the entire continent of South America!
He's been president of Bolivia since this date in 2006 - having won three different elections, that makes it 12 years and counting. Morales is so popular, his first name has been used to coin words: his left-leaning economic ideas are called Evonomics, and his political ideas are called Evoism.
Let's get down to some specifics:
|This is Wiphala,|
the Aymara flag.
Morales is from the Aymara indigenous group. These people have lived in the Andes Mountains and on the high planes of what is now Bolivia, Peru, and Chile - even before the Spaniards colonized the area, and even before the Inca conquered the region!
Before becoming Bolivia's president, Morales was a farmer and then an activist for workers' rights, labor unions, and land reform.
Morales became the world's oldest active professional football player (soccer player, people in the U.S. would say) in 2014. (But presumedly he is too busy to be doing a LOT of playing with Sport Boys Warnes.)
There have been complaints about Morales from wealthy Bolivians as well as from poorer Bolivians, from people with European ancestry and from those with indio ancestry - which proves that you definitely cannot please everybody, all the time! Still, many people have praised Morales for his efforts to fight against illiteracy, poverty, racism, and sexism. Many indios consider him a hero, and some people say that he is a champion for the environment.
One thing I like about Morales is that he was able to increase awareness of - appreciation for - and pride in indigenous cultures by his use of traditional clothing ("Fashion of the Populist") and indio symbols in the halls of power.
|Notice the presence of Wiphala as well as |
the Bolivian flag (the red-yellow-green flag).
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