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Urban Dreams/Sueños Urbanos

Santa Clara University Archives :: Exhibits :: Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos :: Hub caps
University Archives - Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos - The Cities of La Paz and El Alto - Hub caps
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Hub caps
  Hub caps, 1995
Although few individuals own an auto in El Alto, hubcaps and other autoparts are easily available in the 16 de julio market. For those who need parts, purchasing them in El Alto is far cheaper than going to a distributor, as parts are frequently more expensive than the labor costs to install them. Contraband, or goods entering the country without paying import duties, is rampant in El Alto and allows access to affordable goods which would otherwise be unattainable.

The jacket worn by one of these customers was very popular amongst residents, illustrating an entrepreneurial spirit to capitalize on items with a connection to the world beyond El Alto and Bolivia. While this jacket was made locally in El Alto, such "foreign" goods represent prestige for the people who wear them and a desire to become more integrated with an urban economy. Also popular are t-shirts and caps emblazoned with Chicago Bulls logos and images of Michael Jordan, at that time the only N. American athlete known to El Alto residents.

Permission to reproduce any portion of the exhibit Urban Dreams/Suenos Urbanos is strictly prohibited.
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