Bolivia is named after Simón Bolívar. A Venezuelan military leader who fought the Spanish in the independence wars that led to the establishment of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru & Panama. Pre-colonialism, the area had been inhabited for thousands of years by changing groups. Small groups grew to cities. Cities started expanding to empires. Politics started. Trade started. Colonies started. A dramatic climate shift removed the food base of the elite, and the area emptied. Then came the Inca. Then came the Spanish. Unlike Uruguay, the majority of Bolivia's 11 million population have indigenous roots with 36 recognised ethnic groups. About a quarter of the population are Mestizo - the term used for combined European and Amerindian descent.