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Santa Clara University Archives :: Exhibits :: Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos :: Military Police stand guard
University Archives - Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos - Migrant Residents of El Alto - Military Police stand guard
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Military Police stand guard
  Military Police stand guard, 1993
These Military Policemen provide security for the annual Independence Day celebration in the central square (Plaza Murillo) of La Paz, where the president reviews the troops and addresses the crowd of citizens there to celebrate their liberation from Spain.

Required military service for all Bolivian males is a means for rural men to leave their villages and see parts of the country previously unfamiliar to them. For contemporary Aymara speakers and other peasant farmers throughout Bolivia, obligatory military service is a stage of manhood, a rite of passage for becoming an adult. After completing his compulsory service, an Aymara man may return to the campo and raise a family of his own, or remain in the city and pursue the opportunities available to him there. Both Alvaro and his younger brother Wilfredo served in the Bolivian Air Force, frequently traveling between La Paz and bases throughout the country. Through such experiences they became familiar with the vast heterogeneity of other Bolivians, but it also reinforced their desire to live in La Paz.

  ©1996
Permission to reproduce any portion of the exhibit Urban Dreams/Suenos Urbanos is strictly prohibited.
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