E1 – Mariana and the Traffic Zebras

A slice from Bolivia

Season 2! Mariana prepared so hard for this interview and she has many thoughtful things to say about Bolivia. I love the occasional sounds from her background, cars zooming along the streets, birds and dogs chatting about their own slices of life. We always tend to spend a lot of time on food, but our conversation on Cholitas is very interesting.


timestamped notes

1:51 ~ departments of Bolivia:

7:19 ~ Cebritas (Zebras) of La Paz. This globally-recognized effort to increase safety on the busy streets is staffed by volunteers. While it is mostly students who receive a small stipend for meals, even tourists can spend a day as a zebra. Says an early organizer of the program, Kathia Salazar Peredo

They may be dressed up as zebras, but they defend what is human about the city.

photo by Micaelagaymer

8:42 ~ cholitas – Once marginalized and prejudiced against, these indigenous women turned a slur against them into a powerful statement of strength and endurance through adversity. More than just a fashion fad, the clothing and style of the cholitas is the easiest way for others to identify them. Popular among tourists is the cholita wrestling (think grittier WWE) and is another win for these cool ladies.

14:21 ~ kalapurka is a stew that is kept hot by placing hot stones, lava rocks, in the bowls. In Bolivia, it is specific to the Potosi department. There is a interesting interview (Spanish) where you can see the burbling stews:

15:32 ~ api; I would drink this awesome-looking purple drink. Here is a recipe as long as you can find some purple corn flour (affiliate)

16:33 ~ chicharrĂ³n is not a diet-friendly meal, but it seems so worth it.

19:20 ~ If Pique a lo Macho sounds good to you, you can try this recipe but remember your Llajua!

thoughts on Bolivia

Thus ends our second South American interview. I once had a long soft orange scarf from Bolivia but I swear it disappeared one day and I could never find it again. But now, I have another connection to this amazing place and I can keep it safe here in the reservoirs of the internet.