Reasons to Hate Bolivia

Reasons to hate Bolivia.

Not every country can capture the hearts of all the travelers passing through it. For some, the reasons to love a country can be surprisingly few.

Travelers, please submit a list of reasons explaining what you hated about visiting Bolivia.

Related Catagories: Bolivia, Love & Hate

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March 4th, 2012

*NOTE* I am an American. I am not an arrogant American. I am not in love with America or think it's better than any other country. It has its pros and cons. I do not think I am better than anyone else. I would however like to share my observations after living in Cochabamba, Bolivia for over a year.

We came to Cochabama for one year to volunteer and I can honestly say I've never felt so unwelcome and unwanted in my whole life.

For the poorest country in S America, they certainly have a lot of pride.

We've been lied to COUNTLESS numbers of times on a daily basis. *Many* (not all) people are insincere, cowardly, lazy-minded, fake, ignorant, apathetic, and completely satisfied with their little daily lives–waking up, eating breakfast, cooking lunch, taking a 3 hour lunch break, eating tons of potatoes, working, coming home, eating bread, sleeping at night, and going to the market on the weekends. They don't want anything else. The people have no dreams.

We have been deceived by nearly every street/vegetable/fruit vendor trying to charge us triple the normal cost then being mad when we call them out on it and they find out we're not tourists. Upon getting mad that you know the prices, they try to sneak rotten fruits and vegetables in your bag hoping you don't see them. They also try to talk sweet to you–"oh, 12 pesos mamita!" Give me a break.

Taxi drivers will charge us double what they charge Bolivians no matter how polite we are to them. After we get in the car, arrive at our destination, they raise the price again stating that they didn't understand us (we speak Spanish fine, and know this town like the back of our hands.) You can not change the price once it's agreed upon. Every taxista knows that. Just stick with the trufis and micros (public transportation.)


People stare relentlessly at you no matter what you wear (street clothes, nice clothes) or what you do–waiting for a bus, walking, etc. Although there are tons of gringos here, Bolivian minds can't comprehend that you have light skin. They stare at you from the moment they see you off in the distance, then when you're passing them, then they crane their necks to look behind at you once you've passed. The teenagers laugh and point at you. Men make nasty kissy noises when you pass. I've entered stores/restaurants and the chatter comes to a dull murmur because everyone stops what they're doing to stare at the gringa. You may think it's cute or not a big deal, but try living here for a year. It wears you down and makes you want to live in a cave.

IMMIGRATION–President Evo hates Americans, and therefore Bolivians hate us back. It's probably easier to be knighted or join Mensa than it is to enter Bolivia. THEY DO NOT WANT YOU HERE. Are you hearing me? It doesn't matter if you come here to volunteer to help them. Don't expect to be welcomed with open arms. They make Americans pay out the nose to get a one year visa. You have to take trips to Interpol to request your criminal history to be sent from the states, get a blood test, get things notarized, travel all over town getting lost, and wait on a minimum of fifteen 2-hour immigration office lines in a 3-month period. If you have a question about your papers, you need to stand on the 2 hour immigration line just to ask. If the i's are not dotted properly or there's a miniscule "mistake" they tell you to fix it and come back another day. Different people tell you different stories about the requirements just to mess with you. It's like a game to them. Oh, then you have to go through this process again the next year. Amazing when you compare this process with Argentina–we entered Argentina, payed $140 and automatically received a 10-year visa. No crap, no politics, no racism. Please consider these factors before you choose to come here, and please consider a country that makes it easier to enter. Your volunteer work *may* not make a difference here because many don't have the capacity to appreciate, they never asked for your help in the first place, and you're white. Not being negative, just realistic. If you have a service, message, skill, or something great to offer, go where you know it's going to be wanted and appreciated.

Drunks, beggars, and glue-sniffers on the streets

No customer service. Nobody cares about you. Slow internet costs $45 monthly.

People think they are living the "American Dream" by building a big poorly-constructed house here (costs a fraction of the price to build a house here than in the US.) They act as snobby as any other rich American. Beautiful "western looking" gyms, apartment buildings and restaurants are built to give their city a more western appearance, but they're built solely with drug money.

They don't take care of their dogs properly. They feed them crap and things that are toxic to dogs stomachs, let their wounds get infected, don't put them to sleep when they suffer, and sometimes don't give them water. Dogs are not pets–they're just dogs. If they have puppies because they ignorantly let their female dog in heat outside of the house, they will beat the perfectly healthy, sweet puppies to death because they didn't know what to do with them or because they cry too much. Nope–not an assumption. Been to houses with puppies, then the next week they're mysteriously gone. Then they tell me what they did to get rid of them. Absolutely savage.

No public bathrooms, but when there are it's a toilet that doesn't flush or a hole in the ground, they charge you to enter, give you a square of toilet paper, and you have to navigate around crap and pee on the floor to use it.

Litter. Everywhere. 5-year old children throwing juice/milk bags out of public transportation because that's what their parents taught them. People using what used to be beautiful, flowing rivers as garbage dumps. The rivers are now nearly dried up and have disgusting brown water filled with litter. They are slowly ruining their beautiful resources, and don't have any public trash pick-up service to pick up the litter.

Roadblocks and protests. Imagine the only route to your house being completely blocked and having to find a way around it or waiting for hours. By protesting something and blocking the roads, they only inconvenience their fellow man. So ironic.

The food is mediocre at best. If you come here for a short visit, you'll be satisfied with the choices, and may even think they're yummy or cool. Try living here for a year! Main Bolivian ingredients: potato, rice, onion, tomato, meat, sugary juices, ketchup, salt, mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar. That's it. The meat is tough and boiled, though you can find a decent steak once in a while. Sopa de mani, empanadas, and silpancho is yummy but you get tired of them easily. Boring boiled potatoes accompany every dish. You'll notice people with potato starch bellies walking around–completely obese because of the amount of potatoes and sugary juices they suck from bags on a daily basis. It's like American's and Mc Donalds.They ask you about the food from your country, and you can't even begin to explain the ingredients or cooking methods because they can't understand. I just say, "ohhh, we have a lot of the same stuff, but many different things" just to be polite. Like I said–they're content and don't want anything different. They like the food because it's all they know. Anyone living here from the US, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc will be sorely disappointed. On a positive note, the fruits and vegetables are wonderful and very cheap.

There is nooooo beach.

No fresh seafood. Only river fish.

All Bolivians are not like this, but many are. You'll even find a huge difference between the cultures of Cochabamba, Potosi, La Paz, Santa Cruz, Beni, etc. Some Bolivians may not like what I said, but most Bolivians don't know what it's like to be an American who comes here to live. You're more than welcome to visit the US and tell me what you hate about it. I may even agree with you.

Some things we like about Bolivia:

Tranquil people

Not much violent crime

Lower cost of living

Beautiful scenery

Rent in big cities will run you about $250 for a nice apartment

Apart from the litter, the people themselves in the big cities are relatively clean. We've been to some very clean restaurants here. Some even use facial masks when cooking in the back.

We made some life-long friendships with some Bolivians who actually did appreciate us. We will always be thankful for them.

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April 7th, 2012


I hope Elena found her way back home. And never leaves again.

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April 9th, 2012

I thought it was balanced–didn't say she hated the place, even listed some good parts about the country. I found this stuff to be true when I visited Peru for a few months too. I could only imagine that the annoying stuff gets more annoying the more you live in South America. I didn't feel liked or trusted as a gringo in Peru at all. Also, the first few months in South America are the honeymoon phase. You don't know about a country until you try to build a life there. I know nothing about Bolivia, so I can't say anything. I do know that my friends who visited Bolivia and tried to live there said it's now almost impossible for Americans to get residency–have to jump through a ton of hoops and nearly perform for the immigration offices there. I don't think Elena is exaggerating in this respect. What was your experience in Bolivia, MB? Did you live there or just visit? Are you Bolivian or American?

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May 11th, 2012

Dear Elena, my parents are bolivian and I was born in the US, and when I tried moving there for a year in cochabamba. It was HELL. aleast now there are some decent food and supermarkets,I had to pay someone to send my stuff from the states. I even tried to marry a bolivian woman thinking she would understand the culture I grew up in a home by hardworking bolivian parents in the US,who are well educated. BUT you are dead on about all the concepts of the people, the culture, their lack of doing anything?, their fun is all DRINK and get DRUNK. pretty women here arent pretty enough for me,even so that some I noticed that arent pretty have this awful personality.
I dont understand cochabamba lifestyle culture and maybe I never will.
I decided not to go there anymore not even to live cause Id feel Claustrophobia, just because the people suck can have money and "live there" but I just hate myself to restrict living within their lifestyle.

thank you guys.

PS: governmental authourity and employees dont give a shit and everything takes longer than necessary in order to leach money of you. Its a shame that its part of their lowlife culture. it hurts me to say this cause I have bolivian blood but its true. my family arent like that at all here in the US

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Sarah Rose

October 9th, 2012

I have to say -I agree with the comments that the first poster made. I was supposed to spend one month in Bolivia as part of an 8 month trip around South America but I found Bolivians to be the RUDEST, most UNWELCOMING, HATING, DISRESPECTFUL, SLY, UNDERHANDED, LYING, LAZY, CHEATING, RACIST, UNCOUTH people I had EVER come across in my life that I cut my trip short and only spent 12 days there, escaping to the relative warmth and friendliness of Argentina.

I had been driven so nuts by everyone being such a cunt to me that I was like "fuck this, get me the FUCK OUT OF THIS COUNTRY." I can spend my money elsewhere.

Bolivians look at white people with HATE (I am English btw) -a hate that seethes and pours out of every crevice of their souls. It's not indifference (if only it was) -it is pure HATE.

Not only that but I was screamed at on numerous occasions for ridiculous "offenses".

One time I got on one of those disgusting rickety busses and saw that there were people in my seat. Assuming that the seat numbers on our tickets were not being honoured, I sat in the seat directly behind the one marked on my ticket. A few minutes later this big fat Bolivian woman came on and started SCREEEEAAAAMMMMINGGGGG at me for sitting in her seat -I mean- if she were a cartoon she'd have had steam blowing out the top of her head. She was frothing at the mouth and wild-eyed, and was flailing her arms about like she was going to take a swipe at me. I quietly apologised and sheepishly acquired my correct seat. Everyone in the bus had turned round to give me evil glares (I was the only whitey on the bus). If that wasn't enough, this was a NINE HOUR bus ride with no toilet on board and no piss-stops. Either Bolivians have bladders of steel or they have porta-potties under those massive hoop skirts.

We made one stop so that some foul smelling food in plastic containers could be passed round the bus to everyone BUT ME (we were not allowed to get off the bus though). Not that I would have eaten it -it smelt like a baby's nappy full of diarrhoea and Indian food mixed together. And then, when people were done eating, they opened the windows to throw their plastic containers outside….to join the 1000s of other plastic wrappers and containers that litter the countryside, the rivers, the streams, mountains and deserts. Pachamama my ASS. They think they are so pious and in tune with nature compared to us evil westerners with our corrupt, nature-hating ways, and yet they think nothing of eating disgusting fried, fattening food and littering their beautiful country with rubbish and plastic containers. One with nature? I think not.

Everything I ate in Bolivia was disgusting -cold, uncooked etc apart from their lovely quinoa soup, which I ordered whenever I could. But even that gave me diarrhoea (in fact, I had the shits from the second I entered the country and my stomach didn't settle until I had reached Argentina and was eating clean food prepared by clean people).

Another instance was of me queueing to put my backpack in the hold of the bus, just like all the Bolivians (again, I was the only whitey on the bus) and I was told that I couldn't put my bag in the hold. Why? The man just gave me a Bolivian hate-stare and so I shuffled onto the bus and had to straddle my big bomber of a bag on a 10 hour overnighter much to the chagrin of the cunt of a man who I was sitting next to. Sorry, I wanted to say, they only allow Bolivians to put their bags in the hold. Not gringos. Nothing I can do ya feck, so stop complaining.

Another story that springs to mind is of me queuing to put my backpack into the hold of another rickety-ass bus. Everyone else (all Bolivians again) were allowed to do this but when it came to my turn, the ugliest man I have ever seen (and that's quite a feat for a Bolivian because they are all dog rough munters) cryptically motioned at me and then disappeared round the side of the bus. Assuming that he was going to take a slash, I waited patiently, only to have him come barreling round the side of the bus to where I was standing and started screaming bloody murder at me in the same way that old woman had on that other bus. I thought he was about to hit me -so agitated were his hand gestures. Sorry for not being psychic and realising that gringos have their own side of the hold (and the other side was NOT full because there were only about 5 other people on the bus and not all of them had luggage). I should have realised that I was being racially profiled again. What a CUNT.

On my Salar de Uyuni tour I was lied to by the girl at the tourist office who said that I could only do the 2 day circuit. On the day of my tour there were three French guys who were allowed to do the full circuit. I asked if I could switch and pay the difference but was refused. And given no reason.

Every time I exchanged money a dirty Bolivian would inspect the money as if inspecting a dog turd and refuse to change it because it was "dirty".. Hello?! This is BOLIVIA! Bolivia is fucking filthy and so are the people, not to mention THEIR money.. She took one $10 bill to change and hid some absolutely filthy notes in with some OK ones she had given me… WHAT THE FUCK??!! They were ripped and falling apart at the seams as well as emanating that special third-world dirty money odour.

When I bought my ticket to leave Bolivia, they sold it to me and told me I had two hours to make my bus –plenty of time to get stamped into Argentina etc. They “conveniently” forgot to mention that Argentina is one hour ahead of Bolivia and so I only had one hour to queue for a stamp and take a taxi to the bus station on the Argentinian side. Because Argentina is so flushed with greedy-ass Bolivians (so pious and unmaterialistic, pachamama, pachamama…BULLSHIT) the queue was MASSIVE and all the Bolivians were cutting the queue making things even slower. When I finally got stamped into Argentina, I had 5 minutes to catch my bus so I grabbed a taxi. A second later the doors of the taxi were being opened and a whole Bolivian family jumped in with me. And guess who had to foot the bill at the far end…??? Whitey of course. We ARE all walking ATMs after all… I managed to make the bus, breathing a sigh of relief that I would never again have to deal with Bolivians only to have the pleasure of sitting next to one on the bus to Salta. She had so much crap on her that she’d put bags under my seat so that I couldn’t put my legs down. When I told her to move her stuff she pushed it all right back to where my feet were supposed to be.

On top of all this I was cheated, swindled, ripped off (I have countless more stories)…. And I was overcharged on EVERY bus ticket (no they don’t have higher rates for foreigners and they’d always give me the actual going rate before writing down a higher one and I’d be forced to pay it).

Having said all this, I thought Bolivia was absolutely STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL –the most raw, natural beauty I’ve ever seen and would go back for the natural splendour alone. It’s just such a shame that Bolivians are cold, heartless, cruel, unwelcoming, hating, jealous, rude, suspicious, cheating, lying, racist CUNTS. And they are the ugliest people I have ever seen inside and out…and need to get their teeth fixed. BAD BAD BAD BAD DISGUSTING TEETH.

I was surprised to see that Peru had a lot more negative press than Bolivia. Actually, I’d have given the crown to Peru if I hadn’t gone to Bolivia afterwards. Same problems there –a bunch of rude, lying, lazy, uncouth, savage cunts.

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October 27th, 2012

Bolivia is the biggest shithole in The Americas, no exceptions, the whole country is a big fucking desert. 90% of it's population isn't civilazed and can't write nor speak their own laguage. There are no famous Bolivian people and no Bolivian did nothing good for mankind. No one knows what Bolivia is and such a country shouldn't even exist.

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August 30th, 2013

Sarah Rose -¨I was surprised to see that Peru had a lot more negative press than Bolivia. Actually, I’d have given the crown to Peru¨

Well you have to remember that Bolivia was once part of Peru therefore you are essentially talking about one and the same Peruvia people/culture, ect… Thus Peru should indeed be given the lowest rung of the latter award in south America.

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December 1st, 2013

I spent three months in a town a few hours from Santa Cruz and I don't have a lot of positive things to say about the country. I think I would agree with what several others have said about the people. A large number of them came across as lethargic, ignorant, and pompous, as they would consistently say they are better than the western part of Bolivia. I was in a volunteer program and the Bolivians in the group would frequently skip or show late for their work placement, and on weekends (sometimes weekdays) they would go out drinking until 3 or 4 in the morning and then sleep through the next day. Oh yeah, and these are people who claim to be very religious.
Their awareness of other people's space is also fairly non existent. For example my first night there I got in at 1 am, then went to bed exhausted from travelling all day, and was awoken the next morning by a Bolivian talking at full volume on his phone at 6 am. Their sense of physical space is also certainly different, as they would often push you instead of asking you to move. Another thing I noticed was that many of them frequently made unpleasant noises with their mouth as a normal mannerism. Gross.

Furthermore, Bolivians are horrible at communicating with each other, and didn't even bother communicating with me. For example, one day the organization I was with was going to a fair to set up a stand against bullying. However, the people in charge of the fair hadn't bothered to tell us they had moved the time of the fair forwards two hours.

I also agree with what people have written about littering. One time I went on a hike and started skipping stones in the river. I was told to stop, so I did. Then an hour later the same person decides to throw the 2 wine bottles we had consumed into the forest. Disgusting.

I did generally enjoy the food there though, even though they didn't usually eat dinner and their lunches were only really comprised of potatoes, tough, fatty meat, and stale bread. I don't want to give off the idea that the people are all like that though, because the family I was living with was super nice and I did meet many others who were very nice. That being said, I wouldn't recommend it as a place to go to unless you are passing through.

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March 26th, 2015

I just hate everything with this fucking country. " we are like spanish people friendly and helpful# in my ass. they are NOTHING like spanish people. these people are horrible, and I hate everything. they lie, cheat, cross you. They have no, what so ever, feeling of remorse. Oh but by the way, they are so religious and pour and sooooo good. and if you aren't they YOU are evil. Fuck that.

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