Ethnicity: Ethnically a Mestizo and thereby of both European and Native American heritage, much of his ancestry came from the indigenous Aymara people.
Morales was born in the small rural village of Isallawi in Orinoca Canton, part of western Bolivia's Oruro Department, on 26 October 1959. One of seven children born to Dionisio Morales Choque and Maria Mamani, only he and two siblings, Esther and Hugo, survived past childhood. His mother almost died from a postpartum haemorrhage following his birth. In keeping with Aymara custom, his father buried the placenta produced after his birth in a place specially chosen for the occasion. His childhood home was a traditional adobe house, and he grew up speaking the Aymara language, although later commentators would remark that by the time he had become president he was no longer an entirely fluent speaker. Morales's family were farmers and from an early age he aided them in planting and harvesting crops and guarding their herd of llamas and sheep, taking a homemade soccer ball to amuse himself.