What is the Dia del Mar?

Introduction

Día del Mar (Day of the Sea) is an annual celebration in Bolivia which observes the loss of Litoral Department in the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific with Chile.

Background

It is celebrated on the 23 of March, at the conclusion of the weeklong Semana del Mar with a ceremony at La Paz’s Plaza Abaroa, in homage to war hero Eduardo Abaroa, and in parallel ceremonies nationwide.

Bolivia considers the Día del Mar an opportunity to reiterate its claims for access to the Pacific Ocean which was lost when the country became landlocked following the war.

The 1963 iteration of the event was marked by chants and songs against Chile by worker and student groups.

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