Bienvenido a Sucre! Literally meaning ‘sugar’ in Spanish, Sucre is every bit as addictive. It is the capital city of Bolivia, but it doesn’t feel like it. The city center is clean and relaxed, but during festival season it is a riot of color, song and dance. The history of the city is palpable, from the preserved dinosaur footprints just outside the city limits, to the churches dating back to the 16th century, including San Francisco, San Lázaro, the Metropolitan Cathedral , and Santo Domingo. It is known as “The White City” because of its largely white, colonial style architecture. Expats living in Sucre should make a point of visiting the stunning House of Freedom, or "La Casa de la Libertad", one of the best examples of this style of building.
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Sucre is considered to be one of the most politically stable cities in South America, and it is popular with expatriate volunteers and tourists making their way through the continent. Sucre stands at an altitude of 9,528 feet so visitors to the city may experience some altitude sickness if they ascend too quickly. If you are worried about this, make your ascent slowly by car, or fly into the local Juana Azurduy de Padilla International Airport from a nearby location such as Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Expats moving to Sucre should make sure their Spanish is up to scratch before arriving in Bolivia. Although the city is well used to expatriate workers and visitors, other languages are not widely spoken, and a working knowledge of Spanish is essential for getting around while living in Sucre. For tips on picking up Spanish quickly, and getting used to Bolivian slang, speak to seasoned expats on InterNations, the largest online expat community worldwide.
Sucre is neither the most accessible, nor the biggest city in Bolivia, but it has been popular with expatriates for many years. Once famed for its silver mines, today it is better known for its financial industry and tourism. Every expatriate working in Sucre will be working and living in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will soon get used to the dazzled tourists taking photographs of the picturesque streets. Make the most of your time in the city by speaking as much Spanish as possible; supporting local cultural events; and exploring the surrounding countryside. Make sure you keep your work visas up to date, and keep an eye out for any changes in employment law which could affect your status. Expats in Sucre can also always sign up on InterNations and use the discussion groups and forums to speak to other expatriates for advice and insight into what working life is like in Bolivia.