Deaf in Bolivia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Patrick Speaks


Introduction / History

There are 23,000 people who use or would use Bolivian Sign Language (LSB) if they were in contact with other sign language users (or 0.25% of the population).

Modern Bolivian Sign Language traces its start to the 70s involving American missionaries; since then it has overtaken any sign language that had been used previously in Bolivia and has been contextualized by adding local signs. According to a study comparing LSB to various dialects of American Sign Language in a variety of USA states, LSB is a member of the ASL family of languages. It was found that on average, LSB was more closely related to a majority of other ASL dialects than some ASL dialects were to each other.

Some signs have been contextualized to Spanish, for example, the ASL word for 'church' has the sign for the letter 'C' tapping the back of the hand. In LSB, this is changed to the letter 'I' instead, since the Spanish word for 'church' is iglesia.

Only 1.6% of LSB speakers have been incorporated into educational or work settings. Since Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in South America, it can be assumed that the deaf are among these poorest and among the 60% of the population estimated to be below the poverty level.
There are a large number of clubs, associations and other groups the deaf have organized. These are active in all the major cities throughout Bolivia.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Deaf
People Name in Country Deaf
Population in Bolivia 0
World Population Unknown
Countries 216
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Deaf
People Cluster Deaf
People Name General Deaf
Ethnic Code
People ID 19007
Country Bolivia
Region Central and South America
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Cochabamba, La Paz, Riberalta, Santa Cruz.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bolivian Sign Language
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Bolivian Sign Language

For Main Lanugage: Bolivian Sign Language

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
Text / Printed Matter Door International
Primary Religion: Christianity

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 7.50 %)
90.97 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission.