Bolivia has produced many fine authors in its long and turbulent history, almost all of whom came from the nation’s traditional ruling class of European descendants. Despite having a rich storytelling culture, the indigenous underclass has had limited access to education until recent times, meaning their stories remain as oral traditions, rarely being transcribed onto paper. The following is a short biography of five Bolivian authors who have changed the face of Bolivian literature forever.
Edmundo Paz Soldán
Born in 1967 in the city of Cochabamba, Edmundo Paz Soldán is the most accomplished contemporary Bolivian author, with recognition on both a national and international level. His various novels and short stories were originally written in Spanish, despite him living in the USA for several decades and currently holding a position as a professor of literature at Cornell University in New York state. Some of his better stories, such as the 2007 novel Turing’s Delirium, have been translated into English.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Juan de Recacoechea
Born in La Paz in 1935, Juan de Recacoechea migrated to Paris to study journalism and television production at university. After a decade of living in France, he returned to Bolivia and founded a television station for which he appointed himself the position of CEO. Recacoechea began writing novels in his spare time, eventually becoming famous for his fourth book American Visa, which was later adapted into a successful feature film by the renowned Mexican-Bolivian director Juan Carlos Valdivia.
Franz Tamayo Solares
A renowned but controversial politician, poet, philosopher and writer born in 1879, Franz Tamayo Solares was so influential there is an entire province in the western part of Bolivia bearing his name. Sadly, he held the bigoted point of view that indigenous Bolivians were intellectually inferior, being more suited to laborious industries such as agriculture and military service, whereas those of European descent were more capable of intellectual work. Tamayo was of mixed indigenous and European descent which, according to him, meant he was both physically and mentally adept. This type of racist ideology had a profound impact on Bolivian politics and identity, particularly following the Bolivian revolution of 1952.
Born in La Paz in 1879, Alcides Argueda is one of Bolivia’s best known writers, penning books that focused on the difficult relationship between European Bolivians and indigenous people. He was praised for a cynical essay he published in 1909 entitled Pueblo Enfermo (Sick People), but it was his novel Raza de bronce (Bronze Roots) that would be fundamental to the development of Bolivian literature, tackling themes such as indigenous oppression, efforts to confront such oppression and the division between indigenous and white or mixed raced Bolivians. This and other critical works made him quite unpopular among Bolivia’s white ruling class. He later gave up writing, preferring to focus on history, politics and diplomacy.
Bolivia’s finest poet and the woman responsible for the nation’s first feminist movement, Adela Zamudio was born to a rich family in Cochabamba in 1854. Under the tuition of her father, she published her first poem at 15 and went on to become the director of a girls’ high school while promoting women’s rights across the nation, something that was unheard of at the time. Zamudio was not religious, instead writing poems of an intellectual nature with romantic undertones that covered issues such as the struggles of Bolivian society, revolution and the rejection of religion and other ideologies. Many of her works were published under the pen name “Soledad” (Solitude), which is reflective of her loneliness and unwillingness to accept societal norms. Thanks to her feminist ideology, her birthday of October 11 has been designated as Bolivian Women’s Day through the nation.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.