Casa Grande del Pueblo

24 Sep, 2018 | Rose Cocks

History & Politics

Photos: Rose Cocks

Controversy and art inside the new government building

Visible from any point across the skyline of La Paz, Bolivia’s new presidential building, the Casa Grande del Pueblo, looms over the historic Plaza Murillo, cutting through the traditional and colourful architecture of the surrounding government buildings. The question on everyone’s mind, however, is whether this novel structure of 29 floors can really be a house of the people when the people don’t know much about it.

At present, to the disappointment of paceños and tourists alike, if one approaches the ‘Great House of the People’ at any time other than the short visiting hours on Saturday, one is greeted at each door by a soldier announcing one cannot enter.

Although the Saturday morning tours seem a reasonable way to reveal the building to the public, visitors are left wanting more after partaking in them. Queueing from 8:30am, visitors are allowed through a side entrance of the building in groups of ten. After passing through security, they are taken to the rooftop helipad and granted five minutes to take photos. They then descend to the third, second and first floor to view a sparse, but impressive collection of artwork. There is little clarity throughout the tour and no consistent guide to escort the groups of tourists.

Alexandra Bravo, one of the artists featured in the collection, was present to speak briefly about her work with real life feathers that addresses issues linked with immigration within Bolivia and discusses human and women’s rights. In the lobby of the building there is a colourful tribute to Pachamama created by the highly acclaimed Bolivian artist Roberto Mamani Mamani. Angela Pachawte, one of the visitors on the tours, expressed her deep appreciation for the atwork in the Casa Grande del Pueblo, confessing she would like to see more of that art around the city.

La Casa Grande del Pueblo will replace Bolivia’s former presidential palace, but there are clear distinctions between the two.

Image title

The tours focus more on the art and the facade of the building, than on the actual use of this new government structure. Although La Casa Grande del Pueblo will replace Bolivia’s former presidential palace, called the Palacio Quemado, there are clear distinctions between the two.  The Palacio Quemado, which is now set to become a museum, only permitted the entrance of people in suits and formal attire and was closed to the public. Although La Casa Grande del Pueblo was going to have the same policy at first, President Evo Morales decided to create permanent exhibition rooms that are open to the public, with the hope that the building will become a cultural hub in Bolivia. He presented the building on Twitter as evidence of ‘the change and renovation of the new Bolivia we are constructing.’

The helipad that crowns the building was created for the additional use of wedding photos and ceremonies to make the structure more accessible to the public, but the conditions of this accessibility have not been confirmed. The same goes for the nature of the tours. Ivan Ayaviri, a communications officer of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism who now works on the 19th floor of the building with a spectacular view over the south side of the city, informs us that the  visiting schedule will likely change in the coming months.

Ayaviri discussed the artwork both inside and outside La Casa del Pueblo, indicating ‘the union of Bolivia’s three climatic zones’, the Andes, the valleys and the lowlands, depicted in the three icons on each face of the building. He also described the 36 faces painted over the archway of the spectacular lobby, which represent the 36 indigenous groups of Bolivia recognised by the constitution, each divided with a half male, half female face.

Aside from the artwork inside the building, the official use of the structure has been a point of contention.

Aside from this artwork, the official use of the building has been a point of contention. According to Ayaviri, Bolivia’s ‘growing economy’, demands more space for the government. The skyscraper not only houses the Presidential Suite, but also parts of at least five government ministries: Presidential, Communication, Culture and Tourism, Energy, and Environment and Water. The offices of most of these ministries are split between La Casa del Pueblo and offices around La Paz. Citizens, however, have contrasting opinions on this way of organizing the nation’s bureaucracy.

‘The ministries are a little displaced,’ said Angela Pachawte, adding that it would be better if they all worked under the same roof to facilitate public access. In opposition to this view, Carlos Arispe, a language teacher working in La Paz, believes ‘a government needs to decentralise. It needs to work in different areas, not only in one large place,’ he said.

A highly controversial element of La Casa del Pueblo was the use of public funds for such an extravagant construction. Arispe describes the lack of ‘hospitals and medical centres to address the health of the people’ in La Paz, which he says is noticeable given the ‘supposedly socialist’ nature of the government, and the ‘immediate visible needs’ around the city. Pachawte points out that, despite her appreciation of the building’s use and the artwork it contains, La Paz is ‘seriously lacking health and education services’ for young people like her. Williams Madrano Cuiza, however, who is a Bolivian from Tarija, claims that the government is building hospitals, but due to a ‘lack of communication’ in the media, this is not made obvious to the public.

Other residents of La Paz, like Carlos Arispe, display a distaste for the building and describe it as ‘an absolute waste of money… a demonstration of the government’s power and economic control.’ Regardless of these opposing views,  Williams Madrano and points out that ‘when Evo Morales leaves the government, the building will stay in the city.’ This sobering insight gives room for thought. La Casa del Pueblo will indeed be part of La Paz’ skyline for a long time to come, so why not embrace it as the cultural hub that it is intended to become?


backlink blog comments
18 Oct, 2019 | 11:08
The best means get some type of digital book and appreciate this nearly from anyplace is during the whole entrancing procedure including mp 3 mp3 book recordings. The genuine sound digital book outlets that constantly one considers as quickly as.
ecosmart tankless water heater
18 Oct, 2019 | 10:06
Thanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more postsby you!
18 Oct, 2019 | 08:37
Impressive web site, Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. I am moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter, which is very enjoyable, but I need to additional expand. Regards
Case Study Writing Service
16 Oct, 2019 | 08:55
The high expectations set on the dissertation writing are hard to be maintained, so require plenty of creativity and expertise in the associated field.
popcorn flavors
16 Oct, 2019 | 06:39
Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. There is obviously a multiple to understand about this. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.
14 Oct, 2019 | 14:38
You have done a great job on this article. Your work is very good and I appreciate this issue. Its a great pleasure reading your post. I'd really like to help appreciate it with the efforts you get with writing this post. You have some real writing talent. Thank you.
Age spots
10 Oct, 2019 | 02:17
Great info! I newly came across your blog and have been reading along. I just danced upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog stations. Very useful and informative.
07 Oct, 2019 | 05:26
Thank you for helping people get the information. Your work is very good and I appreciate this issue. It’s a great pleasure reading your post. I'd really like to help appreciate it with the efforts you get with writing this post.
buy product boxes UK
04 Oct, 2019 | 08:28
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up plus the rest of the site is also very good. Thanks
ifa chester
04 Oct, 2019 | 01:00
I am always exploring online for storys that can include me. There is obviously a multiple to understand about this. I feel you made a few salubrious points in Attributes moreover. Thanks for sharing.
cosmetic boxes
03 Oct, 2019 | 08:39
Hi there! This article could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I'll forward this post to him. Pretty sure he'll have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!
Birmingham driving lessons
03 Oct, 2019 | 07:55
I really like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!
03 Oct, 2019 | 04:57
I have read many blogs but this blog is very great and cool. Your blog is very helpful for every visitor. I really like it very much. . Thank you for sharing and keep it up. .<a href="">best telescope for kids</a>
Playground safety tiles for children
03 Oct, 2019 | 02:58
Your blog is really awesome and cool.its really cool and great.i am glad to read your blog.its really interesting and cool.thanks for sharing the nice and cool post
rubber roofing for sale
03 Oct, 2019 | 02:29
Excellent blog post. I learnt lots of knowledge from here. Keep going on good work. Thanks for sharing this article here.
Buy rubber roofing online
03 Oct, 2019 | 01:51
Very informative article. I read this article in detail and really find very good information here. Thank you very much for this informative post.
relationship advice
28 Sep, 2019 | 01:28
There is unmistakably a multiple to understand about this. You actually understand how to bring a concern to light making it essential. Thanks for sharing.
24 Sep, 2019 | 09:41
You gets to recognize an entire range of humans within the lodge enterprise. So make sure that you get throughout which you are a human beings man or woman and will enjoy the "running with the public" element of the process.
Nice blog post on this topic. Its a great comfort reading your post. I am waiting for your updated post to read more. Thanks for sharing.
wedding videography
11 Sep, 2019 | 23:41
It really makes me happy and I am convinced with the arrangement of your post. I wanted concerning this subject and did not know who to ask. Thank you for sharing this article.
Organic Supplements
04 Sep, 2019 | 12:53
I am happy to find your extraordinary way of writing the post. It helps me very much to solve some problems. I really like and recognize your website post. Thanks for this post.
16 Aug, 2019 | 06:24
Exceptional site. Is this kind of web theme tailor made?
16 Aug, 2019 | 06:24
Thanks for the excellent publishing! I most certainly enjoyed analyzing it.
16 Aug, 2019 | 06:23
Omg, web site loads incredibly swift...exactly how does one make that happen?
I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful.
28 Jul, 2019 | 07:42
It's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information.
big and tall suits
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:27
Acknowledges for penmanship such a worthy column, I stumbled beside your blog besides predict a handful advise. I want your tone of manuscript...
kitchenaid wine cooler
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:25
You bear through a awesome vacancy. I sanity definitely quarry it moreover personally suggest to my buddys. I am self-possessed they determination be benefited from this scene.
flawless vape shop
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:23
This content is simply exciting and creative. I have been deciding on a institutional move and this has helped me with one aspect.
pink clothes
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:21
I use basically superior fabrics : you will discover these products by:
acne treatments
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:20
It is especially decent, though look into the tips during this home address.
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:18
This is helpful, nonetheless it can be crucial so that you can check out the following website:
seo company
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:17
Your texts on this subject are correct, see how I wrote this site is really very good.
classes near me
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:16
I wrote about a similar issue, I give you the link to my site.
counting videos
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:15
Here you will learn what is important, it gives you a link to an interesting web page:
vocational school near me
23 Jul, 2019 | 13:13
Gives you the best website address I know there alone you'll find how easy it is.
Pool and Spa
20 May, 2019 | 15:19
This was nice <a href="">Pool and Spa</a>
ipower discount code
23 Apr, 2019 | 03:32
This is a great idea. This is looking amazing and very attractive. I love to visit here at once in life.
03 Apr, 2019 | 05:17
Useful blog.
12 Feb, 2019 | 06:38
scary games online
18 Jan, 2019 | 02:16
It didn't create quite a stir
college assignment service
22 Oct, 2018 | 08:09
Their reason is the notion that art avails the identity, but unlike the old-style commemorating achievements, they tend to be involved and to observe the creative manner of an appropriate artist, slightly than a character or function.
1$ domain
20 Oct, 2018 | 03:13
Two full thumbs up for this magnificent article of yours. I've really enjoyed reading this article today and I think this might be one of the best articles that I've read yet. Please, keep this work going on the same quality.
09 Oct, 2018 | 10:36
I love art because it allows me the freedom to work with different media to make designs, artwork and such. I find the whole process, right on from researching the idea out that I want to work on

Make a comment