I love La Paz. The seat of Bolivia’s government, it’s the perfect third world city, nestled among gorgeous mountains.
We arrived on the first day of spring, which is a holiday as well as love day / friendship day / students day / doctors day (?!). All the women walked around the city with balloons and bouquets which they had been gifted by their significant others. We took a free walking tour around famous sites, plazas, and markets, and then I meandered through some alleys in the city center.
Our hostel was in an upscale neighborhood, houses surrounded by barbed wire, and as I walked back at dusk, I was accompanied by the sounds of free street concerts and joyous university students dancing and singing along.
I spent a few days in La Paz, riding up the cable car to the highest neighborhoods, visiting museums, drinking coffee, wandering through the markets, watching the well-dressed businessmen and the students in uniform and cholitas in bowler hats going about their days.
One night we heard singing coming from the main theater, so we went to see what was happening. The ticket woman got tired of hearing us say “no boletas” (no tickets) over and over and in order to get rid of us just let us in. A famous Bolivian singer was performing and the crowd was beside themselves watching her. This was definitely the most local experience we’ve had yet.
Shabbat was lovely as well, with only 10-20 of us at each meal, and the kindest rebbetzin and visiting shaliach (the rabbi was in New York buying arba minim). After lunch we all took a walk together to a nearby park, returned to play some Monopoly Deal, and then made havdalah, ending our lovely stay in the beautifully set city that is La Paz.