It’s Sunday morning in La Paz, a time for family and recreation. Snow sparkles on the distant mountains, a reminder of precipitation on bitterly cold nights during the week. Now, the sun shines down warm and brilliant, banishing thoughts of the chill that will settle over the city when evening comes.
Familiar sounds waft in through my window–the loud, nasal call of the newspaper seller, whose nearly indecipherable announcement of the editions he carries can be heard from several blocks away; the tinny amplification of digital carillon bells from the Catholic church down the hill; dogs bark, birds sing, and the family of musicians across the street is preparing for another party with loud folk music on the radio.
Down on the Prado, the street has been blocked off for pedestrian use, as it is each week during the dry season. A variety of artisans and vendors have set up shop to sell their wares to passersby. Today there are special displays about environmental issues, including one from Red UMAVIDA. Argentine hippies juggle and sell jewelry. Musicians perform in varied styles. Families stroll along the boulevard, stopping on a bench to enjoy ice cream or watch their youngest members drive toy cars in circles while others skip rope or play with blocks. Cholita women show off their Sunday best. Pampered pups in fleece jackets sniff their greetings. This is the one time each week when most people are in no hurry, and life can be savored in slow motion.