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Urban Dreams/Sueños Urbanos

Santa Clara University Archives :: Exhibits :: Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos :: Family at the edge of the City
University Archives - Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos - The Cities of La Paz and El Alto - Family at the edge of the City
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Family at the edge of the City
  Family at the edge of the City, 1993
Seated at the rim of the valley between El Alto and La Paz, this mother and her children exemplify the urban condition. This girl wears a manta on her back, a square piece of cloth commonly used for carrying goods, such as those one may sell in a market. Today this woman has taken her two children with her to sell goods in La Paz. Resting above the city, the family waits for a bus to take them down to the city.

Many families live in El Alto while they work in La Paz below. More than 70,000 people move between the two cities daily, leaving as early as 4 AM and sometimes not returning until after midnight. Because urban life demands residents participate in the capital economy, costs of living are high and people must maintain more than one job in order to survive and support a family. Alvaro, his wife, brother and sisters live together in El Alto, but leave each day to sell goods in local markets, or work as laborers in homes, businesses or construction sites for people living in La Paz (Pace�os).

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