Even in this age of wide travel and inveterate tourism, Bolivia remains relatively unknown and unfrequented. Hemmed in geographically, much of the country is still inaccessible and isolated. Underdeveloped politically and culturally, its progress has remained stunted, and but few of its inhabitants have shared in the advantages of the increasing economic status and higher living standards afforded to some of its neighboring countries by the rapid advances of the twentieth century. For generations it has served as a principal source of tin while the remainder of its natural resources have been meager and unexploited. Only a few European settlers, mostly German and British, have been attracted to Bolivia. Their ventures, rendered successful by ambition and industry, stand in towering contrast to the resigned and unenterprising attitudes of the indigenous inhabitants.
The population of Bolivia is concentrated on the altiplano, or high plateau, of the Andes mountain range on the western border.