Oruro is located almost equal distance between La Paz and Sucre at approx. 3710 meters above sea level. The city was first founded in 1606 as a silver-mining-center in the Urus region. It was eventually abandoned as the mines became exhausted, but was re-established in the late nineteenth century, this time as a tin-mining-center. For a time, the La Salvadora tin-mine was the most important source of tin in the world. Gradually, this resource was also exhausted, and Oruro again went into a decline. The city does manage, however, to attract tourists to its carnival, the Carnaval de Oruro, considered one of the great folkloric events in South America for its masked "devil-dances".
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