Getting A Read on La Paz, Bolivia

It can be hard to get a read on a place when you’re dropping for only a few days.  I spent more time in La Paz, Bolivia than I’d spent in other cities during the previous 3 months of traveling and yet it was so complex even months later I’m still processing it all.  Around every corner there is a reminder of the old versus the new, traditional versus modern.  It is a city full of surprises, that’s for sure.

Walking the streets of La Paz: One street had recognizable fashion brands.  The next had alpaca-wear and a witch market on the corner, complete with baby llama fetuses.

Scarves Llama

Attending a Cholita Wrestling match: One act was fairly light-hearted, carefully choreographed so the female cholita wrestler defeated the annoying clown-wrestler (after he threw her around for a bit).  The next, a scary mummy-monster came out and started whipping a chain around the arena until children were crying and people fled their seats.  Performance over.

Chulita Mummy?

Observing protests: Miners peacefully marched in the streets, striking to improve their work conditions and pay.  Later that day (and for many more to come), they block roads with rocks and threw dynamite at rival miners, leaving several injured.

Protests

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