The ‘Czech Republic’ brings to mind the urban, architectural splendors of Prague, the folk-inspired compositions of Dvorak, the emboldened reforms of the Velvet Revolution. A leisurely trip through the rolling green hills of the Czech countryside, however, reveals yet another aspect of this picturesque land — its farming communities where one might come upon a farmer feeding her ducks much as her forebears have done for centuries. It is, though, a way of life in decline as farm prices make it hard to make ends meet and young people, feeling the pull of bright city lights, leave the land behind.
Photo © 2008 Harlen Persinger
Czech Republic/Ceská Republika
Central Europe, between Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria. Bohemia (west) rolling plains, hills and plateaus surrounded by low mountains, Moravia (east) very hilly. 78,867 km2 (slightly < SC), 39% arable.
Capital Prague (1.2M).
Population 10M (129km2).
Life expectancy 77 years.
HIV/AIDS < 0.1%.
Lang(s) Czech 95%, Slovak 2%, other 2%, unspecified 1%.
Religions Roman Catholic 27%, Protestant 2%, other 3%, unspecified 9%, unaffiliated 59%.
Ethnic Groups Czech 90%, Moravian 4%, Slovak 2%, other 4%.
Gov’t Parliamentary Democracy
PCVs 1990-97; business, education, environment, health. Volunteers to date: 234.
Nat’l holiday Czechoslovak Founding Day, 28 October (1918)