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la paz

04/30/2014 // Shoeshine // La Paz, Bolivia

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Many La Paz shoeshiners–of which there are many–wear ski masks while they work. Lonely Planet claims it’s because of the stigma traditionally associated with the job, but I could imagine there are respiratory reasons for it as well.

04/06/2014 // A Warning // La Paz, Bolivia

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“We’ve had a big problem with burglary in this neighborhood. We got together and decided that this would be the best way to send a message.”

03/29/2014 // Under Construction // El Alto, Bolivia

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El Alto, built on the plateau beyond the valley of La Paz. It’s often referred to as the capital of Aymara culture, and the city’s growth reflects the growing urbanization of Bolivia–El Alto’s population was 11,000 in 1952, 307,000 in 1985, and about 800,000 today. Its endless streets of cubic red brick buildings are filled with Bolivians who combine urban life with rural custom, taking the Aymara language and culture and adapting it to city life. It’s a symbol of the increased power and cosmopolitanism of Bolivia’s indigenous peoples. They are still building.

03/27/2014 // Cross on a Hill // La Paz, Bolivia

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Overlooking La Paz from “La ceja,” the ridge that separates La Paz from sister city El Alto.

03/04/2014 // Carnaval // La Paz, Bolivia

carnaval

Not as though it was usually as barren as this. Many La Paz streets were closed for celebrations, and all pedestrians (myself included) are legitimate targets for spray foam, water balloon, and water gun attacks.