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Photo Journal: Cultural trip to Copacabana, Bolivia.


from La Paz to Copacabana

Typical lady from Copacabana. Photo taken in front of the Basilica of the Virgin of Copacabana, Jan 2013.

Typical lady of Copacabana, selling bread in front of the church. Photo taken at the Basilica of the Virgin of Copacabana

This is the second post of a series on the city of Copacabana, the main Bolivian town on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

The previous post focused more on people and our perception of their lives, the image on the right should give a pretty good first impression of what we found during our visit [if curious, hop over to the post using this link!]

Our path towards a very restful weekend. Bags packed, kids packed, car tank full. Let’s begin! ♥

172 kilometers to drive, route including a Ferry!

Leaving La Paz was a breeze! Not the heavy traffic we expected throughout El Alto, and as a bonus, some very interesting buildings along the way - see below!

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Our kids simply loved their ‘new way of moving’ along the Lake!

 

Our ‘home away from home’, Hotel Rosario do Lago Titicaca, a welcome respite in this funky beach town …. heavenly views, spacious rooms very tastefully decorated, modern and spacious bath, comfortable and beautiful beds. Food is fantastic with beautiful views overlooking lake and lovely gardens… Here is what we spotted from our hotel, while enjoying a cup of coffee [me] or a chilled beer [husband] – the magnificent Lake Titicaca:

hotel rosario del lago       Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 2.28.06 PM

 

The city was completely ready for pilgrims and tourists coming from all sorts of places. People seeking blessings, people honoring promises, people of faith and tourists. The colorful city of Copacabana had a special place for each and every one of them!

 

The street markets were a sure hotspot for visitors! Clothing articles, leather-made products, typical food, ‘the famous tostadas’ were among the offers!

 

Hiking options were also available to all, and again, the reasons varied with the will: adventure, faith, curiosity, photography… you name it! The views from up top the Calvary Hill are definitely priceless, and made us forget the difficulties climbing up through the 14 Stations [of the Cross] with a bunch of little kids!

 

Once at the top of the Calvary Hill, we were introduced to the popular Alasitas! Miniatures representing a wish. It could be a house, a job, a diploma, a car…even money! [they actually had miniature copies of dollar bills!]

 

People would buy their ‘product of desire’ and have it blessed by a priest [at the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana] or by a native yakiri… Some people chose both options, why not? :o

 

At the top of the Calvary Hill, it was time to enjoy the magnificent natural beauty around us: the Lake seemed endless, powerful, and yet, soothing. The deep blue colors from the waters mirrored the blue ceiling the sky was offering to all the ones brave enough to accomplish the walk up… ♥

 

After all this, were we tired? For a bit, we were, for sure. But we found enough energy to keep moving on, and exploring… an island! The Isla del Sol [Sun Island], a 2-hour boat ride away from Copacabana, with occasional stops at the ‘floating islands‘… But this will be part of an upcoming post… For now, just get back to the images, enjoy them, and if you wish, let us know what you think! :o Thanks for tagging along with our ‘traveling family of 5’!’

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[Spanish] Copacabana, región encantadora a orillas del Lago Titikaka, está situada a una altura de 3.841 m.s.n.m, y a una distancia de 155 km la ciudad de La Paz, que es la sede de Gobierno de Bolivia y la ciudad más importante del país.
El recorrido desde La Paz toma aproximadamente 3 horas y media por carretera asfaltada. Copacabana, casi es un paso obligatorio entre Cusco (Perú) y la ciudad de La Paz. 

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Photo Essay: People and Feelings of Copacabana, Bolivia.

Typical lady from Copacabana. Photo taken in front of the Basilica of the Virgin of Copacabana, Jan 2013.

Typical lady of Copacabana, selling bread in front of the church. Photo taken at the Basilica of the Virgin of Copacabana patio, where she patiently waited for the Mass to end…

 

This is the first post of a series on the city of Copacabana, the main Bolivian town on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It’s an amateur attempt to capture more than just images, landscapes and hotspots from the enormous Lake Titicaca and its surroundings – it’s an experiment to enter people’s lives and understand their feelings… That’s why it’s being called ‘People and Feelings of Copacabana‘.

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[Spanish] Copacabana, región encantadora a orillas del Lago Titikaka, está situada a una altura de 3.841 m.s.n.m, y a una distancia de 155 km la ciudad de La Paz, que es la sede de Gobierno de Bolivia y la ciudad más importante del país. El recorrido desde La Paz toma aproximadamente 3 horas y media por carretera asfaltada. Copacabana, casi es un paso obligatorio entre Cusco (Perú) y la ciudad de La Paz. 

Religion, devotion, faith – many names for the several different ways of approaching what’s believed to be a stronger, powerful protective force… People seeking blessings, seeking help, seeking guidance…

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The town has a large 16th-century shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia. As part of our trip, we also visited the Isla del Sol, and appreciated the long and heartwarming hike through the rocky paths, up to the pre-Inca ruins – sensations and feelings, were everywhere…

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More still to come on our recent family 4-day road trip, but for now, let’s begin with these very personal and intimate photo shots… Hope you are all able to perceive the same sensations we got… ♥ Let us know!

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Laguna de Cota Cota, La Paz: Pedal boat, ducks and fun with schoolmates. It’s a day off!

School was off for a day – a staff meeting. What to do with our super energetic, active, children? Get them to run, enjoy the playground together, ride the pedal boat, chase ducks, walk (several times!) along the bridges, have a picnic at the park! That’s exactly what some four families (Chilean-Argentinean, Greek-American, Brazilian-American and Norwegian-American) did! It’s one of the beauties of this (sometimes crazy & intense!) expat life! ♥

It is one of the largest parks of the city of La Paz, with a surface area of 2 hectares. Here we find an aquatic lagoon with fish and ducks, games, a suspension bridge, bike path, green areas with games for children, adult areas and barbecues to enjoy a pleasant field day for the family. The park of Cota Cota is in the Southern district of the city.

[Español] Es uno de los parques más grandes de la ciudad de La Paz, tiene una superficie aproximada de 2 hectareas. Aquí encontramos una laguna con peces y patos, juegos acuáticos, un puente colgante, ciclovía, áreas de juegos para niños, adultos, áreas verdes y parrilleros para disfrutar de un agradable día de campo con la familia. El parque de Cota Cota se encuentra en la zona sur de la ciudad.

 

 
 

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ABIA da la bienvenida a sus nuevos socios

Más de 70 personas fueron convocadas para conocer sobre la importante labor que realiza ABIA, cuya ayuda se orienta a cuatro instituciones: el comedor popular de San Calixto, el Hospital del Niño, el proyecto Luz de Esperanza y el centro de rehabilitación y salud mental San Juan de Dios.

Nos comentaron que, además de pasar un agradable momento y dar la bienvenida a los nuevos integrantes, los presentes quedaron gratamente sorprendidos con la fina decoración y los originales bocaditos que caracterizan a The Ambassador’s Table.

American British International Association (ABIA) anualmente ofrece una recepción para dar la bienvenida a sus nuevos integrantes, en esta oportunidad realizó un Wine and Cheese en el  The Ambassador’s Table.

ABIA da la bienvenida a sus nuevos socios.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in BOLIVIA, en Español, volunteer

 

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The Quenoa Tree (Polylepis spp.): higher than any other in the world, is part of our front yard!

The Queñoa Tree

This tree, with its beautiful red bark, grows higher than any other tree in the world.

And we get to enjoy this unique beauty every day… just walk out to the front yard!

What a fantastic find, for a Biologist like myself, having this beauty as part of our yard is no less than a blessing!

[Español] La keñua o queñoa de altura (Polylepis tarapacana) es una especie de planta con flor de la familia de las rosáceas (Rosaceae). La especie se distribuye a lo largo de la Coordillera Andina desde Perú hasta Chile, incluyendo Bolivia. [ref. Wikipedia]

Detail, tree trunk with ‘peeling layers’, a result from the cold weather (physiological adaptation response).

La especie se encuentra en floración entre diciembre-enero y marzo-abril. Fructifica abundantemente, en racimos. Parte de las hojas y de las últimas ramificaciones, cae durante el invierno; cuando el nuevo follaje está completamente desarrollado, se desprenden las hojas restantes.
La especie se distribuye en un rango elevacional entre 3900 hasta 4700 m, algunos individuos aislados pueden llegar hasta 5200 msnm en el Parque Nacional Sajama. Es conocida mundialmente porque en su distribución la especie alcanza más altitud que cualquier otro árbol en el mundo. Queñoales eres una comunidad vegetal en que es dominante la Queñoa (Polylepis spp.), árbol característico del Altiplano. Los troncos, de madera dura, son generalmente retorcidos, y están cubiertos por una corteza exfoliante, formada por múltiples láminas de color castaño rojizo.

[English] Polylepis woodland is a distinctive, high-elevation Andean forest habitat that occurs above cloud level (3,500-5,000 m) as patches of woody vegetation surrounded by paramo (e.g., Festuca species) or puna (e.g., Ichu species) grass and shrub (e.g., Baccharis species) communities. These high-altitude woodlands tend to be relicts of a once-widespread habitat and comprise mainly evergreen trees of the genus Polylepis (Rosaceae) which are highly drought tolerant. The trunk and branches are laminated with brown-reddish bark that peels off in paper-like sheets as a protection against extremely low temperatures, and often have mosses and lichens growing on them. ♥ Learning something new everyday here! :o
the peeling trunk [detail]

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in BOLIVIA, ecology, en Español, photography

 

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Recuerdos y Souvenirs at the Feria Internacional de Arte Decorativo, La Paz, Bolivía.

La Paz Feria de Arte Decorativo

El evento internacional, en su cuarta versión, tuve más de 180 expositores que llegarán de diferentes distritos del país y el exterior para mostrar y enseñar sus nuevas técnicas en el arte decorativo. El Ministerio de Culturas en apoyo al arte popular, la artesanía, desarrollo y promoción de proyectos productivos de las artes manuales e incentivando el intercambio cultural brinda su respaldo a la IV Feria Internacional del Arte Decorativo Fidad – Bolivia 2012. “La feria internacional será inaugurada este miércoles en el Círculo de Oficiales del Ejército (COE), donde se ha instalado un circuito cerrado para la difusión de los talleres y de espacios recreativos para los niños”, informó la Coordinadora de la Fidad, Gladys de Rodríguez.

[English] What could be a better idea for an “after school Friday activity”? This past Friday, decided to take the kids to the Military Circle, in La Paz, for a Fair on Arts, Crafts and Decoration, complete with short-classes, and courses on how to make ceramic, plaster, paintings… Kids loved the experience and this mom over here left very pleased with the results, after over 2 very intense/active hours! :o

 El objetivo fue de estimular la creatividad de las personas que están relacionadas con las artes decorativas, para ello, los expositores mostrarán y enseñarán las nuevas técnicas en sus propios stands que se convertirán en talleres para que cada visitante opte por el aprendizaje de un arte en breve tiempo, según el reporte oficial.

A manera de incentivar al público asistente, los organizadores de la Fidad – Bolivia 2012 programaron pasarelas de moda con modelos de Top Secret, presentaciones de ballets y espacios de comida rápida.

a green house for bonsai classes!

home made chocolate and treats – all teachable!!


 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in ART, BOLIVIA, en Español, photography

 

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