Security Message for U.S. Citizens – Security Measures During Carnival 2015 - U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia - February 12, 2015
U.S Embassy La Paz advises U. S. citizens living and traveling in Bolivia that Carnival celebrations be held throughout Bolivia from February 14-17. During this period there is often an increase in petty crime. Pickpocketing, purse snatching, and thefts of cell phones and cameras are common occurrences and difficult to detect in crowds, especially in Oruro where the largest and most popular Bolivian Carnival celebration takes place. When you are out enjoying the celebrations, it is prudent to minimize the valuables on your person and to be mindful of your possessions at all times.
U.S. Citizens should be aware that in the coming days, even outside of traditional Carnival celebrations, Bolivians often throw water balloons and spray water and foam at bystanders and passersby. This can occur on the street, from buildings or moving vehicles. Whether you want to be a participant or not, everyone is fair game. Please also take extra precautions at night while driving; there is increased alcoholic consumption during these celebrations so pedestrians and vehicles are sometimes not where you expect them to be.
You can stay in touch and receive Embassy updates by checking the Embassy website, found here. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, by calling the regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Bolivia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the U.S. embassy.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Bolivia. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
You can contact the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, via e-mail at ConsularLaPazACS@state.gov or by telephone at 591-2-216-8246 during regular business hours (Monday to Thursday, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) or 591-2-216-8500 after hours and on weekends.
The U.S. Embassy is located at 2780 Arce Avenue in La Paz, Bolivia, and is open to the public by appointment on Monday through Thursday from 08:00 to 12:30, and from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. You can schedule a non-emergency appointment by visiting our website.
The Embassy operates one Consular Agency in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Santa Cruz Consular Agency is located on Roque Aguilera Avenue #146 (3rd ring). You can contact the Santa Cruz Consular Agency by telephone at 591-3-351-3477, during regular business hours (Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.).
If you wish to visit the Consular Agency for a non-emergency matter, please schedule an appointment through our website: http://bolivia.usembassy.gov/service.html