Is There a Land of Land of Hugs?

Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Bolivia Tours | 21 comments

Andes mountains between Potosi and Sucre, Bolivia

I  live in both the “Land of Sky”—Asheville, North Carolina, USA—and also in the “Land of Smiles”—Thailand, where I encounter numerous smiling people every day.

But do you know where is the “Land of Hugs” ???

I came upon the Land of Hugs on a year-long odyssey through South America in 1975. In the Land of Hugs, I found the people warm and friendly, somewhat shy at times, but certainly not huggers. The locals made beautiful woven fabrics.  They played traditional Andean musical instruments in this beautiful, landlocked country located in the heart of the South American continent.

Bolivia dancers share their culture with our small group tour

Costumed dancers performing on the streets of La Paz, Bolivia   © Benjamin Porter 2015

Now you may know that I am speaking of Bolivia. On that first visit, I was there only a few weeks, but my fascination with the people and their culture was immediate. I have continued visiting and living in the magical land of Bolivia throughout my life.

As beautiful as the landscape is —and it is drop-dead gorgeous—I love the people of Bolivia even more.  As I mentioned, they are kind, warm-hearted, generous, happy, humble, curious and very friendly people.

In La Paz, the nation’s legislative capital, three years ago  a “Day of the Hug” was proclaimed to boost people’s happiness. It was so popular that it has become an annual event. It is estimated that more than 30,000 hugs were exchanged in La Paz on the most recent Day of the Hug.

Bolivia has tapped into something important here. Studies show that hugging can relieve stress and make you feel calmer. Serotonin and dopamine are wonderful hormones! Hugging has been linked to reducing heart diseases and strengthening your immune system. Every hug counts!

Father hugs son in Potosi, Bolivia

Father and son share a hug in Bolivia. ©Benjamin Porter 2015

Do you know of any other “Land of _________” ?   We think you do.

Enter our contest and the two readers who send us the most  “Land of’s ______”  locations will win a a handmade Akha tribe change purse or wallet from Thailand You must be the first person to list any given “Land of ____”  for it to count toward your tally. This contest ends on April 1, 2015.

Learn here about  our upcoming Viva Bolivia! Tours

Tile roofs and colonial architecture of Potosi, Bolivia

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage city of Potosi, Bolivia on our Small Footprint Travels tour. ©Benjamin Porter 2015

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Costumed dancers fill the streets of Tarija, Bolivia celebrating the San Roque Festival

San Roque Festival in Tarija, Bolivia