Tags / South America
Young woman surfing at Jericoacoara, Ceará, Brazil.
29 September 2009. Two miners drive stones wagons to the mine dumps in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.
Pallaqueras (women who select stones from the mine mines looking for remains of gold) are pictured during their work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.
Engineer Wilfredo Menéndez shows a piece of gold in his office in the headquarters of Corporación Minera Ananea, the company that owns all goldmines in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.
29 September 2009. Pallaqueras (women who select stones from the mine mines looking for remains of gold) are pictured during their work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.
A two month journey following indigenous protests from Paraguay to Bolivia in 2007.
Once a year, Oruro, a moth-coloured mining town on the Andean altiplano, emerges from its drab cocoon as an extravagant butterfly.
The Diablada, as the Carnaval of Oruro is known, rivals that of Rio de Janeiro. Dancers don elaborate costumes and compete as they whirl and twirl along the parade route during this 20-hour spectacle of colour.
The dancers' costumes can weigh as much as four kilograms and are created afresh each year.
Fueled by the sacred coca leaf, dancers and musicians surge along a 4km parade route in the 20-hour-long homage to the devil. Then, they fall to their knees and crawl into the cathedral to worship the Virgin and receive blessings from a priest.
This tradition springs from the darkness of the indigenous miners’ underground gods in contrast to Catholicism’s virginal icon.
Dancers and brass bands careen by in a kaleidoscopic clash of bodies, colors and sounds.
Even President Evo Morales attends the traditional event, underlining its cultural importance to indigenous Bolivians.
From bleachers lining the streets, tens of thousands of spectators from all over Bolivia celebrate the spiritual procession by randomly hurling water bombs as hard as they can. Alternatively, they spray foam from pressurized canisters, often on purpose, directly into the faces of their victims. After all, it’s easier to rob someone blinded by stinging foam.
Bolivia’s Vice President, Álvaro Garcia Linera, and President Evo Morales chose foam as their weapon of choice.
The mayhem continues with no regard to presidential safety - and no incidents are reported. The spectacle remains one of the most sensational in the world.