March is a busy month in Bolivia and leads into an equally busy April. March 8th was International Women’s Day. Bolivians celebrate both the international version and a national Woman’s Day (on October 11th). Father’s Day (Día del Padre) was March 19th.
Coming up is Día del Mar (Day of the Sea) on March 23rd. Read this page to find out what a landlocked, beach-deprived country does on a day that commemorates the ocean.
I’d like to invite you to participate for just one hour in an event of epic proportions. Saturday the 27th of March between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. over 4000 cities around the world will be celebrating Earth Hour turning off non-essential lights on important buildings and monuments to send a message to world leaders about climate change and the need for serious commitments to reducing our negative effects on the Earth. Did you know that Santa Cruz de la Sierra was the first city in Latin America to join the Earth Hour initiative? This year Tarija joins in as a new official Earth Hour city and I’ll be there on Saturday night to cover the story.
Which brings me to my next announcement (some of you are going to be ecstatic). After 3 months I’m finally going to be completing our new section all about Tarija for BoliviaBella. It’s the perfect time of year to spend a week in Tarija. Beginning with our coverage of Earth Hour on Saturday night, and continuing on throughout the entire week (Easter week, which in Tarija is celebrated as Pascua Florida), I’ll be visiting many of the tourist attractions and also getting to know the “real” Tarija. In addition to Easter, known as (Pascua in Bolivia), Tarija also celebrates its bicentennial this week so it’s a trip with a triple objective.
I’ll be arriving back in Santa Cruz just in time to vote in Bolivia for the first time in my life. On Sunday April 4th all Bolivians will be voting for mayors, governors and other municipal representatives. As of this year President Evo Morales has ordered all foreigners living in Bolivia who have a 2-year or more residency to vote in these elections. It’s no longer a choice, it is now obligatory, as voting is for all Bolivians. Here’s what you need to know about this upcoming election day. Since elections were ordered to occur on Easter Sunday this has greatly affected and limited some of the country’s largest religious celebrations.
We've got exciting news! Chef Noly, of Noly's World Cuisine and Noly's Salteñas in Chicago (real Bolivian salteñas) has agreed to allow us to feature her Bolivian kitchen on BoliviaBella.com every Wednesday. We launched Wacataya Wednesdays on March 3rd, 2010! Noly will be teaching us all about Bolivian ingredients, sharing some of her favorite Bolivian recipes, and more! We'll be featuring her on this page each Wednesday! Click to read more about this exciting new project and be sure to subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter or join the BoliviaBella Facebook Group so you'll be reminded each week to stop by to see what's cooking in Noly's kitchen! Oh! And here's how it all got started!
We have two new forums on BoliviaBella. The first, our new Chile Forum, was set up immediately after the earthquake that took place in Chile last month. We wanted to help out any way we could, and spent over 100 hours online helping locate people who had been involved in the earthquake in Chile and uploading information and updates for foreigners who found it difficult to get any news at all about Chile in English. Because so many tourists travel several countries at a time, and many enter Bolivia through Chile or vice versa, we’ll be leaving our Chile Forum up permanently.
In addition, we’ve been getting so many questions about visas and residency in Bolivia, we’ve now dedicated an entire forum just to the subject of visas and residency information in our Visa Forum. The Bolivian government has been making many, many changes in immigration rules and offices and is tightening restrictions and visa requirements. If you plan to travel to Bolivia for any reason in the near future, be sure to get updated on the latest visa rules.
March 31st is the last day to send in your photos of Flat Sophia in your town or city. Thanks to everyone who has participated and helped us out with this project so far. We hope you’ll consider taking one photo of Flat Sophia in your neck of the woods and sending it in to help us complete this project successfully. It’s very easy! Get details here.
April things you should know about:
April 12th is Día del Niño (Children’s Day). It’s an important festivity in Bolivia. You can read more about how we celebrate it here.
The much awaited International Baroque Music Festival of the Jesuit Missions is just a month away. Between April 22nd and May 2nd you can choose from over 100 choir and orchestra concerts that will take place simultaneously in 22 cities and towns throughout the Department of Santa Cruz. International choirs and orchestras from over a dozen countries will be participating in this huge event that takes place in the heart of Bolivia’s forests. Don’t miss out on the wonderful 500-year old music of the Jesuit Missions. Take in a concert now or you’ll have to wait another two years for the next festival. This is one of the most unforgettable experiences you can have in Bolivia. Get the details here.
U.S. Expats can't put tax filing off until the last minute. NCH Wealth Advisors (ExpatCFO.com) can help you get everything in order between now and the April deadline. Tax laws affecting expats are changing. Be sure you have a knowledgeable expert on your side to help you manage your taxes and wealth portfolio.
Stay informed throughout the month
The Message Board is where I post messages about things I think you might be interested in throughtout the month. Anything goes as long as it’s useful! Check it out daily – things change here quickly. You can also sign up to my RSS feed to get updates each and every time I add or modify a page. It’s the best way to stay informed between issues of this Ezine! You'll find interesting news, great flight deals, reviews of new books about Bolivia, highlighted articles, and anything else that's useful to Bolivia tourists and expats.
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Welcome to all our new subscribers!
We had a lot of new BELLA NEWS subscribers this month - welcome to the BoliviaBella online community. For those of you who don't yet know, "Bella" is actually an American living in Bolivia. She works as a professional translator and interpreter and also spends countless hours designing this site just for you! Find out
who is Bella really??
As you can see, we've been very busy working super hard to grow and improve BoliviaBella.com and make it the number one English site on Bolivia. Parts of the site are also being translated into Spanish due to the large number of visitors we have from Spanish-speaking countries. We're always looking to improve - this site is FOR YOU so be sure to let us know what you want to see included on BoliviaBella.com - we're not on our way to NUMERO UNO for nothing - we're working very hard to get there!! Please direct your comments to webmaster "Bella".
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