The Colour of Bolivia

In his diary as he traveled through Bolivia for the first time, Che Guevara wrote “the color green has been banned”.

Sat on a bus traveling through the country – whether in the north, south, east or west – and stare out at the grey hills, the brown rocks and the bleached beige grass, and it’s easy to see why Guevara thought this.

Indeed he’s right, the high altitude, cold and lack of water conspire to make Bolivia a country distinctly lacking in green. However, what Guevara failed to appreciate is the diverse range of other colours that more than make up for green’s absence.

Whether the brilliant white of Bolivia’s salt flats (the world’s largest) contrasting with the azure blue of the sky, or the vibrant pinks, oranges and yellows of the country’s volcanos, rich in iron ore and sulphur. Perhaps it’s the deep red of Laguna Colorado, a lake so full of iron ore that it shimmers red in the wind, or the turquoise blue of the many smaller glacial lakes.

The country is full of colour, it’s simply green isn’t one of them.

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