There are about 5,000 Croats and their descendants in Bolivia, comprising mostly the third and the fourth generation of Dalmatian Croats, mostly originating from the island of Brač and mostly those who came to Bolivia between the 1915 and 1931. From the very beginning they integrated themselves into the Bolivian society and entered into mixed marriages with the locals.
The first Croatian settlers arrived in Bolivia in the late 19th century. According to hearsay a first Croat settler in Bolivia was Ivan Ivanović, from Sutivan, from the island of Brač, who by ship had crossed the Strait of Magellan, landed in the Chilean port of Antofagasta, and in 1885 settled in the neighboring Bolivia. He was followed by other Brač residents and people from the island of Hvar. First Croat settlers were working on the roads and doing railroad construction work, and also in the mines. Some also cleared forests and did farming work.
According to the available data in Bolivia, on the eve of World War I there were about 1,500 Croats. After World War II, a group of political refugees moved there, along with several Croatian priests who visited and settled in the area.
The Croatian community in the town of Cochabamba has its own Croatian house. But there is no Croatian radio – or a TV program, nor Croatian newspapers. Likewise, there are no classes offered in the Croatian language, although there is a Bolivian-Croatian school run by the Croatian family Franulić, and attended by about 800 local students.