Che Guevara Trail, Bolivia
The famous Che Guevara played key roles in the revolutions in Cuba
(as one of the most crucial allies of Fidel Castro), in Congo
and back in Bolivia
. It was in Bolivia where he was eventually captured and executed by CIA
-led Bolivian "special forces" in 1967.
The schoolhouse where we was put under arrest before his execution in the little village of La Higuera has become a kind of shrine for national and international revolution worshippers, and forms the highlight of the so-called "Ruta del Che" or 'Che Guevara Trail'.
Che's actual body, however, which had been disposed of together with other revolutionaries' in a mass grave, was rediscovered, exhumed and taken to a grand mausoleum in Santa Clara in Cuba
for reburial in 1997/1998.
Still, other places of Che relevance (including the original, now emptied grave, the laundry in Vallegrande where the body was photographed for the international press, various battle sites, etc.) are included in a few packages offered by tour operators catering for Che tourism in Bolivia
Since this is being officially promoted in contemporary Bolivia (British funds flowed into developing the Che Trail originally, from ca. 2004), it's only likely to become an even more crucial element of the country's tourism industry, even if it's been slow going so far, it seems.
I cannot, however, report anything about this from first-hand experience (yet), since my only visit to Bolivia to date just took me across the Andean Altiplano in the south-west of the country (see under Uyuni
). Another time perhaps …
Vallegrande, from where the main part of the Bolivian Che Trail starts, is ca. 80 miles (130 km) south-east of Santa Cruz, 85 miles (130 km), west of Sucre and ca. 130 miles (210 km) south-west of Potosi. La Higuera is another 20 miles (35 km) plus (as the crow flies) from Vallegrande, into the mountains to the south.
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