August 6 - Independence Day in both Bolivia AND Jamaica

 Posted on August 6, 2022       

This is an update of my post published on August 6, 2011:

Bolivia is a landlocked nation in South America—in other words, it has no coast on any ocean or sea.

Jamaica, in contrast, is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. It borders on nothing but ocean!

These two very different nations both celebrate independence today. Bolivia won its independence from Spain on this day in 1825, after 16 years of struggle and war, and was named after one of the military heroes of that fight, Simón Bolívar. 

Jamaica celebrates its independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, although the nation maintains part of the Commonwealth and thus has U.K. Queen Elizabeth II as its ceremonial head of state.

Bolivia has 37 official languages! — Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, and 34 other native languages. More than half of Bolivians are Amerindians (native South Americans) of various background (including Quechua and Aymara), quite different from the ethnic heritage of all other South American nations, which are heavily European/white or mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European).

Jamaica, on the other hand, has only one official language—English—and has a population that is largely of African descent.

Jamaica's Bob Marley and
reggae music are famous worldwide. 

One of the most interesting things about Bolivia, other than its rich mix of Amerindian cultures, is the range of amazing landscapes. There are high Andes mountain-scapes and weird salt-plane- scapes, for example.

Jamaica is beautiful, too, of course!

One interesting thing about Jamaica is that it hosted a bobsled team, even though Jamaica is a tropical island without snowy mountains on which to practice such a sport. The bobsled team competed in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada, and they quickly became crowd favorites as underdogs. Bobsledders from other countries loaned them spare sleds and offered them guidance and support. The Jamaican bobsled team didn't officially finish (let alone win), because they lost control and crashed during one of their four runs. However, they did improve, and they were very fast starters. After crashing, the four bobsledders got out of their sled and walked with it to the finish line. The crowd went wild.

At the 1994 Olympics, the Jamaican bobsled team finished ahead of many other countries, including the U.S., and in 2000 they won the gold medal at the World Push Championships in Monaco.

The Disney movie Cool Runnings is loosely based on the Jamaican bobsled team!


(First Saturday in August)

(First full weekend in August)

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