La fiesta del Gran Poder

We were advised to get there early. La fiesta del Gran Poder (party of the All Powerful) is the biggest street party in La Paz. We found front row seats for a hefty 80 Bolivianos each (about 10 bucks) and watched every kind of association in La Paz–grocers, bankers, electricians, plumbers and shoemakers –parade by us in deep vibrant purples, tinselly silvers, electric greens and charcoal blacks. Cholitas spun in sync, horns blared from marching old men in matching oversized gray suits. Children sold cans of beer from duffel bags and onlookers stopped in front of our seats to be shooed away by the vigilant keeper of the cheap folding chairs. Only the vice president wasn’t chased off, as he walked by shaking hands before taking his place on a nearby platform where he danced among the crowd.

See a slideshow of photos here.