Ay ay ay! So much to tell you about!

June and July (winter here in Bolivia) were really busy months for Bella. We've added some new features, lots of new information, pages on several destinations we visited and more! Read on:

Bella's New True Bolivia Art Gallery

We had an amazing fun time in July as we dedicated a good chunk of free time to visiting museums, art galleries and artists in Santa Cruz in an effort to update our museum and art gallery listing at MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES IN SANTA CRUZ

On this page you'll see new blue links to some of the local museums and galleries - we visited these all personally, took a ton of photos, and made a separate page on the site for each one, including slideshows! Let it not be said that "Santa Cruz is not a museum city".

As a result, we met some really cool artists, made a ton of new friends, and came away with great respect for what is being done to breathe new life into the Santa Cruz art scene. The idea to post a true online Art Gallery is a consequence of this and conversations with local artists who are actively promoting the arts in Santa Cruz and have requested BoliviaBella help out.

Some artists, like the famed Roberto Mamani Mamani and Susana Castillo López have even made some of their original paintings available to BoliviaBella readers and Bella's provided secure contact forms for readers who want to contact the artists directly. Visiting artists have been contacting us like crazy too! We expect and hope this gallery will grow and develop very quickly as the art community in Santa Cruz is interested and contributing first hand information just for you.

So here you have it: the beginnings of what we hope will expand grow to include as many Bolivian artists as possible - BELLA'S ART GALLERY - tada!

BoliviaBella.com and RutaVerdeBolivia.com 2008 Bolivia Photo Contest

In line with Bella's desire to support and promote the arts in Santa Cruz, BoliviaBella.com joined RutaVerdeBolivia.com in sponsoring the 2008 Bolivia Photo Contest to encourage photographers to share their remarkable photos of Bolivia. We literally wanted to see Bolivia through the eyes of others. Check out Bella's PHOTO GALLERY to see who won in all three categories (urban, landscape and fauna) and see the winning photos! The butterfly will fly you right on over to the Photo Gallery page.

New Designs at Bella Store

Lots of new designs were added to BELLA STORE. We hope you'll enjoy them. Bella Store purchases help keep BoliviaBella.com online. Bella Store is BoliviaBella's cafepress.com gift shop and is fully integrated into the site so all credit card purchases are backed by a 100% satisfaction and return guarantee. Please note that all items are shipped from the United States to destination.

Just in time for the new U.S. school year!

Bella's new SCHOOL PROJECT page is full of information for students and teachers, in a fun and easy-to-use format that allows younger kids to surf BoliviaBella.com too.

You'll now see many Bella pages have green BOLIVIA FOR KIDS banners at the top. These pages are NOT for children only. Many of them were written long before the BELLA KIDS pages existed.

Green banners have been placed on them to help students and teachers navigate around the site for information that is useful for school projects, and easily return to the BELLA KIDS home page when they're finished.

Kricket's Rainforest Store is Online

Bella's son Kricket has been actively collaborating on the design of the BELLA KIDS section (he actually thinks he's in charge). Kricket is really worried about the environment, especially the rainforest in Bolivia and the many animals that live there. Kricket and Bella have designed a whole section dedicated just to the rainforest with information for kids on the animals and plants found here, why it's important to conserve our rainforests, a collection of informative videos, resources kids and students can use when studying the rainforest in school and Kricket's very own RAINFOREST STORE featuring cool gear with rainforest themes.

The Rainforest Store is part of Bella Store and sales help Kricket and Bella with their online and offline efforts to inform kids and grown-ups about the rainforest and its importance to all humanity. We all benefit from the rainforest therefore WE ALL LIVE IN THE RAINFOREST!

Bella Online Puzzles

Take a break and de-stress with our new online puzzles. You can play online without ever leaving the site.

News from Bolivia

Ugh, the word referendum comes up again this month in the wake of yet another referendum, this time national, through which Bolivian citizens will decide if President Evo Morales and 8 of the 9 state prefects will remain in office or not. (The prefectress of Sucre is not being included as she was only just recently voted into office). August 10th will be another day to watch Bolivia news closely.

Unfortunately, this environment makes foreigners and tourists nervous, which is sad because several really cool events are coming up:

Mid to end of September is FEXPOCRUZ, one of the largest Expos in South America. It takes place each year in Santa Cruz and attracts over half a million visitors to Santa Cruz each year. Hundreds of companies gather at the Campo Ferial to exhibit their services and products and participate in business round tables. Lots of cultural events go hand in hand with the FEXPO including concerts, typical dances, and others. Visitors and the general population have a blast.

On the weekend of October 10-12, 2008 in the Jesuit Mission town of Concepción is the International Orchid Festival. Bolivia has more varieties of orchids than anywhere else in the world. It's going to be a beautiful weekend!

Lots of other events are taking place. Please check out Bella's EVENTS and EVENTOS pages where local companies, artists, and organizations list the events they are planning for the public. Logically, more events get listed on the Spanish page, so be sure to check out both! And if you have a Bolivia-related event you'd like to inform others about, just enter the information right there on Bella's page, upload an image or photo if you like, click SUBMIT and voilá - you're event has been published and announced on the web.

Events (in English) Eventos (in Spanish)

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 about your friendly neighborhood webmaster here:

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". TELL BELLA WHAT YOU WANT!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment below.