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Bolivians celebrate the country's first telecoms satellite with indigenous rituals
Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Friday, December 20, 2013 1:17 PM EST
LA PAZ, Bolivia
Bolivians are celebrating the launch of the country's first telecommunications satellite with indigenous rituals dedicated to Pachamama, or Mother Earth.
Hundreds of people gathered in the Bolivian capital of La Paz to watch the takeoff on large television screens erected by the government.
The satellite is named after Tupac Katari, an indigenous Aymara hero who led 18th century resistance to Spanish colonizers. It was financed with a credit from the China Development Bank for $302 million.
Ivan Zambrana is director of the Bolivian Space Agency. He says the satellite should be fully operational by March and help bring down communications costs and improve television and Internet services for people living in rural areas.