Street Life

One of the defining characteristics of life in Bolivia is the way it is lived to a large degree outside. I guess this is a trait of a hot climate and a legacy of Spanish cultural influence that has bequeathed every town in the country with at least one plaza where people congregate to meet friends, promenade or simply people watch.

The outdoor life goes further than this though. There are a multitude of street vendors selling everything from freshly squeezed orange juice, weavings, shoe shines, plastic bags full of drinks or food and repairs of just about every type imaginable; smooching students inhabit street corners and plaza benches; and campesinos wait on the pavement outside churches in the hope of charity.

This being Bolivia one of the more obvious outdoor activities is the regular ‘bloqueos’ or strikes. These occur with a frequency unheard of in any other country in the world as far as I can tell, and they bring thousands of people onto the streets – mainly because transport strikes are quite common.

Coming from a cold, wet, northern country I love the outside lifestyle of Bolivia, it certainly means there is rarely a shortage of things to distract and entertain…

Street vendor repairing shoes, Tarabuco, Bolivia
Street vendor repairing shoes, Tarabuco, Bolivia
Orange juice vendor takes a nap, Plaza 25 de Mayo, Sucre, Bolivia
Orange juice vendor takes a nap, Plaza 25 de Mayo, Sucre, Bolivia
Pigeon people, La Paz, Bolivia
Pigeon people, La Paz, Bolivia
A young girl selling jellies, Potosi, Bolivia
A young girl selling jellies, Potosi, Bolivia
Fashion shoot in the streets of Sucre, Bolivia
Fashion shoot in the streets of Sucre, Bolivia
Balloon seller, San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia
Balloon seller, San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia
Table removals, San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia
Table removals, San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia
Plaza Central, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Plaza Central, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Chorizo Festival, Sucre, Bolivia
Chorizo Festival, Sucre, Bolivia
Juice stalls in Sucre's Mercardo Central, Bolivia
Juice stalls in Sucre’s Mercardo Central, Bolivia
Balloon seller, San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia
Balloon seller, San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia
Protest march, Sucre, Bolivia
Protest march, Sucre, Bolivia
Media crowd around a strike organiser, Sucre, Bolivia
Media crowd around a strike organiser, Sucre, Bolivia
Toys for sale, Potosi, Bolivia
Toys for sale, Potosi, Bolivia

7 thoughts on “Street Life

  1. Shoe repairers are becoming an endangered species over here! I’m sure that if plazas were incorporated into more towns there would be a better sense of community. And I’m not talking about those dreadful mall type plazas either! There is much that wealthier people can learn from these so-called ‘poor’ peoples.

    1. Countries like Bolivia have a lot to teach about what community means. I was once in a very poor village with some friends and we gave a young child with a horrible cold an apple and an orange. Instead of eating them himself he immediately went to find his sister and younger brother and shared them with them. Can’t say I’d hold out much hope for that happening in the UK.

  2. Great pictures, and a lovely theme to put them all together! You’ve obviously done a lot of traveling throughout the country. Also, those fruit stalls in Sucre are really delicious – just saying.

    1. Thanks Freedman. Those fruit juice stalls are one of the best ways to get you 5-a-day there is, they should have them in every town and city.

    1. Thanks Bearspawrint, much appreciated. Best wishes and a great new year.

      1. And to yourself, also.——Granny

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