Evo Morales, center, began his political career as an agricultural union organizer. He was elected president of Bolivia in 2006.
Photograph by Joel Alvarez, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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  • On January 22, 2006, Evo Morales was inaugurated as the first indigenous president of Bolivia. Morales, a farmer, is the first fully native head of state in Bolivia in the 470 years since the Spanish conquest of the region. Morales is Aymara, a people and culture native to the South American altiplano (high plateau).

    Morales is known for wearing a distinctive, striped Bolivian sweater known as a chompa rather than a suit and tie. He has worked to advance the causes of the indigenous people of Bolivia, encouraging the teaching of indigenous languages in schools. He has also worked towards returning control of the foreign-owned gas industry to the Bolivian people. In 2007, Morales revised the Bolivian constitution to include more rights for native Bolivians.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Aymara Noun

    people and culture native to the plateaus between Bolivia and Peru.

    conquest Noun


    farmer Noun

    person who cultivates land and raises crops.

    gas Noun

    state of matter with no fixed shape that will fill any container uniformly. Gas molecules are in constant, random motion.

    inaugurate Verb

    to make a formal beginning or start.

    inauguration Noun

    ceremony that officially marks the beginning of a leader's term in office.

    plateau Noun

    large region that is higher than the surrounding area and relatively flat.

    Encyclopedic Entry: plateau
    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region