ISSUE 100

RELEASE DATE: 11 Dec, 2019

EDITORIAL BY Caroline Risacher

ISSUE #100 - SPECIAL EDITION

The Bolivian Express celebrates its 100th issue and tenth year this month. Over 300 interns have come to Bolivia to be part of the BX experience and left, we hope, with a better understanding of Bolivia and its culture. Some, actually, never left. We wrote about, among other things, chickens (Bolivians really like chicken), ice-cream vendors, chullpas (pre-Columbian tombs) and fat-sucking vampires roaming the altiplano (yes, that’s a thing); we tried to explain local trends (there are so many vegan restaurants now!) and current events (where to begin?) as clearly as possible. There are some questions we were never able to answer, though. Is it spelled Abaroa or Avaroa? Where do taxis disappear when it rains? 


This couldn’t have been possible without the participation of the many interns who wrote for the magazine and gave it life. They’ve come from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Belgium, France, Ireland, Indonesia, Italy, Germany and South Africa, bringing some of their culture to Bolivia and taking back with them a taste for salteñas (because salteñas are, very objectively, the best). There was romance, a cat called Kandinsky, dog bites, roadblocks, a kitchen fire, a very long bus journey to Vallegrande, a few ghosts and an inexhaustible number of stories that never made it to the magazine’s pages but are nevertheless a part of the BX experience.


Ultimately the BX was and is a human adventure. We wanted to tell stories about Bolivia but we ended up doing something better. Over the years we built a network of interns and contributors which now spreads all across the world, hopefully bringing some attention to Bolivia and all its wonderfully weird idiosyncrasies. This project started as a group of friends with an idea and it became a family with a home in Bolivia. In these uncertain times, there are few things we can be sure of, but regardless of what the future brings, the friendships and connections that have formed inside the BX house will remain, and we hope there will be many more to come with many more new stories to share. (And maybe, one day, we will tell you what happened on that trip to Vallegrande.)


To all the people who came to Bolivia to be a part of the Bolivian Express, to the photographers and illustrators, to the people who were interviewed and featured in the magazine, to our past and present team and to all our readers: thank you.

ARTICLES FROM THIS ISSUE

Ahijada Ajicería

11 Dec, 2019 | Alexandra Meleán

Photos: Michael Dunn Sopocachi’s new boîte features Bolivian food with a spicy twistThe Sopocachi neighbourhood’s new kid Ahijada, or ‘goddaughter’ in Spanish, is the sister restaurant to th...

Todos Santos en Bolivia

11 Dec, 2019 | Lauren Minion

Wooden ladders are available throughout the La Paz cemetery so that family members can access the rest places of their family members and keep their shrines up to date. Photos: Lauren Minion &...

Las Ñatitas

11 Dec, 2019 | Silvia Saccardi

Offerings to the ñatita include candles and cigarettes and they are often adorned with floral crowns.Photos: Silvia Saccardi The festival of 'Las Ñatitas' is a tradition celebrated throughout the...

1. CHARACTERS

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Alexis Galanis − Past InternCover Issue #66COLOURSI can’t count how many times I’ve seen it. Or maybe a better word is experience it. Whether bouncing in the crowded seats of a late bus from th...

BX CHARACTERS

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Amaru Villanueva RanceTHE 100TH EDITION AND 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF BOLIVIAN EXPRESS ARE DEDICATED TO OUR FOUNDER AMARU VILLANUEVA RANCE. WITHOUT HIM THIS ADVENTURE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSS...

2. FOOD

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Alexandra Meleán − Past InternCover Issue #64SUSTAINABILITYIn December 2010, Bolivia made headlines worldwide when it passed the Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra, or what became globally...

The Cherry of Los Yungas

11 Dec, 2019 | Rhiannon Matthias

Photos: Rhiannon MatthiasWith small-scale growers and a vibrant café culture, Bolivian coffee is coming into its own Millions of people around the world crawl out of bed each morning despera...

A Slice of Naples in La Paz

11 Dec, 2019 | George Fearnley

Photos: George Fearnley How Bolivia’s most authentic pizzas are being made in Cota Cota This year, the Big 7 Travel website ranked the pizza at La Paz’s Imilla Alzada the sixth best in South America,...

3. ROOTS

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Peter Rios − BX CollaboratorCover Issue #96PATRIMONYIn 1972, UNESCO adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Bolivia signed the convention, b...

Jiwasa

11 Dec, 2019 | Anneli Aliaga

Photos: Courtesy of Fundación Grupo Ukamau The continuing legacy of Jorge Sanjinés and the Grupo Ukamau’s combative cinema It is impossible to think and speak about Bolivian cinema without m...

Simón Bolívar: an extraordinarily profuse man

11 Dec, 2019 | Adriana L. Murillo A.

Image: Picture painted by Epifanio Garay 19th centuryEl Libertador and his descendents The founder of Bolivia and one of the most relevant figures during the South American wars of independence,...

Potosí: The silver city that changed the world

11 Dec, 2019 | Adriana L. Murillo A.

Photos: Gonzalo Cárdenas ‘I am Rich PotosíTreasury of the worldKing of the mountainsAnd envy of Kings.’Motto from Potosí’s coat of arms, granted by Emperor Charles VThat is how Kris Lane beg...

4. SPACES

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Valeria Dorado − BX CollaboratorFlamingo.Coqueza, Potosí, Bolivia.Explorer during the weekends and full time manager during the week. Valeria Dorado is passionate about travel and photogra...

Bolivia in pictures

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. Potosí, Bolivia.VALERIA DORADOExplorer during the weekends and full time manager during the week. Valeria Dorado is passionate about travel and photo...

5. UNDERWORLDS

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo:  Mattia Polisena / 7200.LineaRecta − BX CollaboratorCover Issue #51SPIRITUALITYJune 21 marks the Aymara New Year here in Bolivia. Coinciding with the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisp...

El Tío

11 Dec, 2019 | Adriana L. Murillo A.

 Translation: Rhiannon Matthias  Photo: Alex WatersThe generator of profits and curses At over 4,000 metres above sea level, Mario sits opposite El Tío, deep in thought. With the l...

The kharisiri of the Altiplano

11 Dec, 2019 | Caroline Risacher

Illustration: Hugo L. Cuéllar @hugolcuellar A history of colonisation, repression and exploitation manifests itself as a mythical beast The kharisiri, also known as the khari-khari and lik’i...

7. INITIATIVES

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Nick Somers − Past Intern Cover Issue #73PERFORMANCESIn 2014, the city of La Paz was named one of the Seven New Urban Wonders of the World by the New7Wonders Foundation. This global distin...

Botanika Eco Cosmética

11 Dec, 2019 | Rhiannon Matthias

Beauty from Pachamama Grooming is an essential part of our daily ritual. But in spite of the attention we pay to our appearance, we often think little about the chemicals we are expose ourselves...

Steps towards Sustainability

11 Dec, 2019 | Lauren Minion

Ecotourism in Bolivia: Brand or objective? Ecotourism is a sector that has undergone considerable development in Bolivia since 1999. For many, it is not only a form of income but a way of life. W...

Young space scientists leave their boot prints in Alabama

11 Dec, 2019 | George Fearnley

Photos: Courtesy of International Space Education Institute and Alvaro FloresBolivians demonstrate their talent at international NASA competition In 2017, NASA, the US space agency, stated i...

7. VISIONS

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Gonzalo Laserna −BX CollaboratorCover Issue #85CONTRADICTIONSBolivia is a paradox. It’s one of the richestlands in South America (with vast depositsof lithium, silver, tin, natural gas and more...

Antes de que nos olviden

11 Dec, 2019 | Anneli Aliaga and Marie-Eve Monette

Photos: Marie-Eve Monette and Archivo Página Siete Fighting against a broken system On the 25th of November every year since 1981, Bolivia participates in the International Day for the Elimi...

Mitologías Imaginarias

11 Dec, 2019 | Renata Lazcano Silva

José imagines an animal that is a mixture of fox and eagle (11 years, Challapampa) Photos:  Courtesy of Mateo Caballero and Natalia PeñaA ‘micro revolution’ of art, education and play&n...

8. CONNECTIONS

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: Juan Pablo Crespo Rocha − BX CollaboratorAmong the heights of the mountain range and charming landscapes surrounded by lagoons and rocky areas, a thriving activity that puts the focus in C...

La Paz’s four-legged residents

11 Dec, 2019 | Silvia Saccardi

Photos: Courtesy of Hocico Spa & APLAB (Amor Por Los Animales Bolivia)Bolivian street dogs and the double lives they lead One of the first things that surprised me when I came to La Paz was t...

9. PROFILES

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: William Wroblewski. Model: Profe Donato Monroy. Cover Issue #74 KNOWLEDGE (S)This is the story of a girl—let’s call her Lizeth and let’s imagine she’s 10. Lizeth grows up in a sm...

Gunnar Quisper, Tatuista

11 Dec, 2019 | Rhiannon Matthias

Photos: Rhiannon MatthiasThe tattoo artist brings the age-old art form to modern La Paz Gunnar Quisper, a potosino keen on changing ideas around tattoos, says that ‘tattooing is above all an anci...

Juan Carlos Navi Yuchina: King of the Jungle

11 Dec, 2019 | Silvia Saccardi

Name: Juan Carlos Navi YuchinaCommunity: San JoséJob title: Nature guideAge: 52Family situation: Married, with three daughters and a sonYears of experience working as a guide: FiveLanguages spoke...

Arte de fuego

11 Dec, 2019 | Anneli Aliaga

Mario Sarabia’s Ceramics‘El espíritu de los Andes…Bolivia’ (‘The Spirit of the Andes…Bolivia’), an abstract stone sculpture of an Andean figure, located in the Valle de la Luna, was recently vandalise...

10. PAST INTERNS

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: William Wroblewski. Production: Valeria Wilde . Model: Anna Grace. Cover Issue #62JOURNEYSFor most travellers who visit, Bolivia is not a place to sit still. The country offers a variety o...

Past Interns

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Nick Somers January - March 2015 January - June 2017 ‘Nothing has had a bigger positive impact on my life than the two periods in 2015 and 2017 I spent with Bolivian Express in La Paz....

Glossary BX100

11 Dec, 2019 | BX Team

Photo: George Fearnley  Location: La Paz's General Cemetery  Achachilas Ancestral spirits and protective parent from the mountains Airampo A c...