Family is central to Bolivian society. In rural areas of Bolivia, some extended families live together in one house. The family is a generally tight-knit unit and provides a good deal of emotional support.
Bolivian families also typically follow more traditional roles, with the father as the financial supporter and the mother caring for more domestic affairs. This “machismo” makes its way into Bolivian society as a whole, as Bolivian males concern themselves with dignity, honor, and saving face.
Bolivia is a country full of diversity, as many ethnic groups – most of which are indigenous groups – make up the population. Because of this, Bolivian Spanish varies from region to region, depending on which indigenous groups can be found in each region. Nearly half of the people in Bolivia also speak an indigenous language, such as Quechua or Aymara, in addition to Spanish.
In Bolivia, it is considered polite for a guest to refuse food until the host insists, so do not be offended if your student does this at first. It may take a while for your student to feel as if he or she is truly a part of the family and not just a guest.
Fun Fact: Bolivia contains 40% of all animal and plant life in the world.