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Other Main Cities/Resorts
Santa Cruz, El Alto, Cochabamba,
Scene and Culture
Bolivia is a typical "macho" Latin American country where there is deep rooted prejudice and homosexuality is never discussed. There is a very small gay scene developing in Santa Cruz and La Paz though with a greater focus on cruising in the city squares than bars or night clubs. See the Bolivia Gay website below for more details and remember to wear a cap!
There are several active gay rights organisations in Bolivia including Adesproc Libertad GLBT who happen to run La Paz's only gay bar called Cafe Vox. In 2001 and 2002 Bolivia had their first Gay Pride Marches. In 2004 the goverment even tried to introduce partnership legislation but failed (see below)
Gay Age of Consent
Lesbian Age of Consent
Straight Age of Consent
In Bolivia, homosexuals are viewed as undesirables that are outside society’s normal moral code. The Bolivian penal code is silent on the issue of homosexuality, but homosexuals are not free from illicit police actions that have the effect of controlling their behaviour. Bolivian police officers operate largely outside of the formal law, idiosyncratically dispensing a rough-and-ready—and often self-serving—form of street justice. Thus, suspected homosexuals may be detained for questioning on any number of trumped-up charges, such as theft or drug possession. In these cases, both parties understand that the "real crime" at issue his homosexuality and that the suspect is expected to compensate the arresting officers in return for their silence about this matter.
There have been some recent signs of more progressive thinking and in 2004 the government tried to introduce Law 810 which would allows homosexual couples to marry and foster children. Following strong oposition from the church this law was shelved.
Whilst Bolivia has a tropical climate because of the variations in altitude there are a wide range of different climatic conditions. The climate you experience will depend on your altitude. Seasonal variations are less marked so visitors can probably come at any time of the year though perhaps not the wetter December to January.
Generally, both temperature and rainfall increase from west to east. The Altiplano is inhospitable for most of the year while the Yungas has a semitropical climate and the Llanos becomes drier to the south. The wet season is from December to January and because of the country's seasonal variations both floods and droughts are common. The prevailing winds include the rain bearing winds from the Amazon Basin and the Surazos which is a dust laden wind that blow across the plains. Average temperature ranges in La Paz are from 1c to 17c in July to 6c to 19c in November