Bolivia, named after Simón Bolívar, is a landlocked country in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil on the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina on the south, and Chile and Peru on the west. The western highlands of the country are situated in the Andes Mountains. The eastern lowlands include large sections of Amazonian rainforests and Chaco. Lake Titicaca is located on the border between Bolivia and Peru. The Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, lies in the southwest corner of the country. Bolivia was once known as the treasure chest of the world. The Spanish conquered the area by 1533. Bolivian silver was an important source of revenue for the Spanish empire. The struggle for independence started in 1809, and by 1825 Bolivia was declared a republic. Occasional regional wars over the next century caused Bolivia to lose about half of its territory. Civil unrest has always been a challenge, with a sharp divide between the rich and poor. Despite having an embarrasement of natural resources, the country has struggled to get its economy going. The capitol and regional hub is La Paz.
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