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History of Jewish immigration

The Jewish presence in Bolivia dates back to the Spanish conquest in the early colonial period.
In 1557 several Jewish converts of Paraguay and Buenos Aires were among the pioneers who founded the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. These Sephardim after the persecutions of the Inquisition was established in the city of Santa Cruz and its surrounding towns of Vallegrande, Postrervalle , Portachuelo , Terevinto , Pucara , Cotoca and others.

From independence in 1825 until the early twentieth century , Jewish immigrants flow to some merchants (both Sephardic and German Jews ), who mostly married women in the country and founded families became part of society merely Bolivian Catholic.

In the first half of the twentieth century, Jewish immigrants flow increased substantially. In 1905, a group of Argentine and Russian Jews emigrated to Bolivia. In 1917 , it was estimated that only 20 to 25 practicing Jews living in the country. In 1933, when he began the Nazi regime in Germany , there were 30 Jewish families. In the late 1930s , when most of the countries of America had stopped granting visas to Jewish refugees , Bolivia under President Germán Busch Becerra military opened its doors to thousands of Jews. President Busch (a German father and mother Santa Cruz ) was a promoter of Jewish migration, who along with the mining entrepreneur Mauricio Hochschild ( German Jewish ) supported the development of Jewish agricultural colonies in tropical Yungas (La Paz), Ichilo (Santa Cruz) and Chapare (Cochabamba ).

Until 1942 there were already about 7,000 Jews. However, some 2,200 Jews left Bolivia in the early 1940s.
Those who remained, created communities in La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Oruro, Sucre, Tarija and Potosi.
After World War II, a small group of Polish Jews was also established in Bolivia.
Since 1939, the Jewish communities greater stability, however, the presidents who succeeded Busch were less enthusiastic Jewish migration, anti-Semitism was expressed repeatedly in the cities of La Paz and Cochabamba where there were deplorable attacks on Jewish businesses and community agencies.

With the revolution of 1952, much of the Jewish Community left for other countries like the U.S., Israel and Argentina.
Currently, there are approximately 600 Jews living in Bolivia.
There are synagogues in the cities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and La Paz.
Most Bolivians Jews live in Santa Cruz.

A little about the country

Bolivia is one of two countries in Latin landlocked.

It has an area of 1,098,581 km. Its territory comprises an important part of the Cordillera of the Andes, the Altiplano , the Amazon Rainforest and the Great Chaco, allowing it to be categorized as a megadiverse country.

Bolivia is a unitary republic politically subdivided into nine autonomous departments, 112 provinces, 327 cities, districts and counties .

The Plurinational State capital and seat of judiciary is Sucre and the seat of government (executive and legislative bodies ) living in La Paz.

Its form of government is presidential , decentralized and with autonomies .

The Bolivian population is multicultural and has about 10.5 million inhabitants (between mestizos, indigenous - originating , white Creole descendants , Afro-Bolivians and a lower proportion of descendants of European immigrants and Asian)

In its territory ancient civilizations like the Tiwanaku Culture and the Culture of Hydraulics Lomas developed.

The currency is the Boliviano (BOB )