TIAHUANACO, Bolivia – President Evo Morales came to this ancient Andean ceremonial center on Thursday to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Bolivia’s indigenous peoples as he marked a decade in office.
He expressed “our gratitude to the Bolivian people in these 10 years of service” in a brief speech after witnessing the sunset at the site.
Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, the entire Cabinet and leaders from unions, peasant and Indian groups accompanied Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state, at the ancestral rituals organized by the elders of Tuahuanaco.
“I don’t know how 10 years have gone by. There have already been 10 years of an administration, of a revolution, 10 years of change,’ he told several hundred supporters gathered in the open-air temple of Kalasasaya, where the Door of the Sun is located.
The president emphasized that thanks to the country’s social leaders social stability had been guaranteed and, in turn, that had made possible the political stability to allow economic growth.
Bolivia achieved an average growth rate of 5.1 percent between 2006 and 2014, making it one of the most rapidly accelerating economies in the Americas.
In Tiahuanaco, which was an important religious center for the ancient civilization that preceded the Incas, Morales on Jan. 21, 2006, had received the symbols of power as an indigenous leader a day before being sworn in as head of state for the first time.
The rituals were repeated on the same date in 2010 and 2015, at the start of his second and third presidential terms, respectively.
Bolivians will go to the polls next month to vote on a proposed constitutional change that would allow Morales to seek another term in 2019.