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Urban Dreams/Sueños Urbanos

Santa Clara University Archives :: Exhibits :: Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos :: To La Paz from the Campo
University Archives - Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos - Transportation - To La Paz from the Campo
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To La Paz from the Campo
  To La Paz from the Campo
Illampu mountain (21,066 ft. / 6,421m.) is the highest peak in the Cordillera Real and has great spiritual significance to the local Aymara people. Mountains are thought to be gods (or spirits) which are intrinsically involved with the everyday lives of the people who live near them. As weather patterns and the soil quality dictate productivity, peasant farmers must acknowledge the forces which affect their lives, most notably mountains like Illampu. Known as Pachamama, or Mother Earth, this great spirit provides for the Aymara people, and they thank her with gifts and reverence.

Today trucks like this one are a common form of transportation for people traveling between city and campo. Cruising along the Andean roads, this stake-truck will carry more than 50 persons at a time, stopping at various villages along the way to let people off and pick-up those who need a ride. During the dry season (May - September) trucks may travel as often as four times per week; however, when the spring rains come in November, roads may be washed out for indefinite periods of time. Only within the past few years has electricity been introduced to rural regions surrounding the Lake. Only within the past decade has the Bolivian government made a concerted effort to extend this service beyond the cities and connect as many rural families as possible to electrical grids.

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