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Santa Clara University Archives :: Exhibits :: Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos :: Preparing a Meal
University Archives - Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos - Migrant Residents of El Alto - Preparing a Meal
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Preparing a Meal
  Preparing a Meal, 1996
As her daughter watches, Maria (Santos' wife), prepares food to be served later in the afternoon for her family and guests. Like other Aymara families in the northern sector of El Alto, Maria and Santos occasionally invite friends to eat as a means for maintaining social and familial ties throughout the city. Guests usually include extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins) and fictive kin relations (godparents) who regularly help Santos and his family. Trust (confianza) between people and neighbors is the basis for social interaction in El Alto, as residents feel they have few people they can turn to in times of need. Such intimate relationships are fostered by infrequent invitations to eat together and socialize, reinforcing bonds to maintain their social network of trusted friends. Simply because Alte�os come from all corners of the Altiplano to live in El Alto, and all may speak Aymara, one cannot assume that they are all the same or will get along with each other. Indeed, provincial beliefs and attitudes persist within this population, enhancing the tension between neighbors to find employment in the city.
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