La Paz Bolivia, one of the highest capital cities in the world, also one of the great places for street photography
Mantas or ponchos are great for everything including carrying heavy boxes, wrapping it around your back like a little pack
Telling fortunes by reading your coco leaves in the streets in front of the Catheral.
The main streets were closed by Bolivianos protesting against the government for removing the miner’s pensions. Protests are so common that armed guards are situated permanently around the Government parliament squares just in case of such protests.
El Alto is a suburb of La Paz and where most of the poorer bolivians live. It is known for its poorer inhabitants and its high crime rates. While the rich and middle class stay in the lower grounds, the higher you go, the poorer the residents are. Still they have the best views of La Paz and great place to view the entire city.
Jelly drink with foamed cream is quite typical and I resisted getting one just because it might give me the Bolivian belly.
It was full moon and I had to make a special trip back to El Alto just for shooting this image. Watching the sun set as the moon rises in one of the highest capital cities in the world is just breathtaking.
La Paz, the flat and lower city is where the rich and the middle class live, and the higher grounds are the poorer neighbourhoods. quite a different arrangement compared to Asia where the rich all live in the hills.
La Paz, Bolivia
Shoe shining are considered the lowest status jobs and often young boys working as shoe shiners would cover themselves so not to be discriminated against. The older ones seem to take it in strive, but when I saw this image, with a well dressed business man getting his shoes cleaned and talking on his mobile phone, it made the whole scene particularly meaningful.
La Paz in Bolivia is one of the highest capital cities in the world, it is a great place to spend a few days just wandering through the various streets and the famous witches market for its strange potions and rituals.
Food market right outside the cementaries.
Witches market where you get everything from potions, spells, llama foetus for your home. These make great gifts to your friends and family
Witches market, the friendly vendor explains the various amulet for your various rituals.
Street vendor selling Chicharron, fried pig skin that is often eaten as a snack
Selling herbal supplements and exlirs for virility, sexual prowess and general well being. Eck.
Boliviana ladies wearing their famous bowler hats. The ladies commonly call Cholitas are indigenous women of Aymara descent wearing their version of old victorian dresses mixed with indigenous sense of fashion which is absolutely gorgeous and quite pricey too.
La Paz Government Square, where the parliament of Bolivia resides
Feeding pigeons at La Paz Government Square
The tourist market streets in La Paz
The food market selling fried fish and potatos, for less than us$2 you would get a big chunk of fish and chips.
Young students dress up as zebras : in South America, vehicles have no respect for pedestrians and often speed up despite seeing someone crossing the road. In La Paz, a program started, educating the drivers to stop at crossings and follow road rules.
If you happen to be in La Paz, Bolivia on a sunday. Go catch the fascinating and very campy wrestling match between the indigenous women and men. Of course extranjeros (tourists) pay quite a bit more than the locals, but it is worth the experience of watching these beautiful Cholitas, indigenous Aymara women wrestle. The fight in El Alto stadium, one of the poorer areas and somewhat dangerous neighbourhoods especially at night. The audience and the wrestlers all come from nearby neighbourhoods, gathering every sunday afternoon for the various matches.
Always curious of what goes on in the background, I made my way to the back of the stadium where the wrestlers prepare for their fight. Somewhat disappointed for I was expecting a grand waiting room for the wrestlers only to be greeted by a bland room where each wrestlers are expected to dress and wait for their fights.
Every Sunday in La Paz, Bolivia, locals and tourists alike are entertained by Cholitas, amazing ladies who seemingly look harmless dressed in huge skirts but put up a mean mean fight with Lucha Libre fighters, males in superhero costumes
Cholita wrestlers are indigenous Aymara females in traditional bolivian clothes which resemble antiquated Victorian costumes.
Even thought, the whole wrestling action look harmless and mostly play acting. The Cholitas, female wrestlers do get hurt. Her opponent smashed a gate post on her and she really bled real blood.
Self proclaimed win from the cholita wrestler : The judge for the match was terribly biased towards the male opponent, despite throwing the male fighter down several times, this Cholita wrestler officially lost due to extreme biasedness from the judge but that didn’t stop her from a self-proclaimed victory.