LA PAZ – Bolivians should embrace the Dakar Rally as an opportunity to share with the world their country’s natural wonders, traditions and culture, the government said on Wednesday.
“Let’s show hospitality to all the racers and their teams,” President Evo Morales said during a meeting with entrepreneurs.
The race, which began in Peru, will enter Bolivia on Thursday.
At an event in La Paz to preview the Bolivian segment of the 14-day competition, the minister of Cultures and Tourism, Wilma Alanoca, urged her compatriots to welcome race participants with “Latin warmth.”
The rally will pass through 265 Bolivian communities displaying “the country’s best” in the way of crafts, cultural diversity and indigenous tradition, she said.
Some of the complementary activities planned include a Pachamama (Mother Earth) ceremony, musical performances and promotion of tourist destinations, Alanoca said.
The Dakar Rally, which shifted from Africa to South America a decade ago due to security concerns, is crossing Bolivia for the fifth time.
A highlight of the Bolivian stretch of the race will be a stage in Uyuni, the world’s largest and highest-altitude salt flats.