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).