Nelly Mamani is a young mother from the Chualluma neighborhood, a picturesque area located in the Bolivian capital that is creating her own brand with art, history and lots of color.
“Since I was little I have lived here with my family. It wasn’t like that before, everything has changed and I feel happy because my area looks very pretty,” Mamani told the voice of americawhile we accompany your journey.
The murals reflect the daily experiences of the neighbors, the majority Aymara and Quechua. The bright colors of the facades are easily perceived as a mosaic from the Cable Car that crosses the skies before the imposing Illimani, the iconic mountain of this department.
This project began in 2019 with the artist Knorke Leaf in a collaborative way and later, with the support of state funds from the “My neighborhood, My home” program, the results were expanded. The muralist highlighted to local media that she took into account the psychology of color to generate a sensory impact on the inhabitants.
But the Mayor’s Office of La Paz is also committed to the “City of Thousand Colors” program for the 2022-2025 administration. The objective is to transform the city after the impact left by the COVID-19 pandemic.
a tourist destination
Since the colors took over Chualluma, there is no shortage of visitors from other cities and countries, says Nelly Mamani. They arrive captivated by the images that are spread on social networks and take the opportunity to take photos, videos and get to know the place.
“There are many ladies here representing the q’atu, which in Aymara means market, there they see them selling cheese, bread, chuñito and many other products. All of this is reflected in the murals”, explains the tour guide, Valentina Rosales.
“It’s a neighborhood that has life,” adds Rosales, while explaining the meaning of Chualluma. “It comes from the Aymara language “Ch’uwa Uma” and it means crystalline spring, although the neighbors say that it is fed by several springs, a mixture of colors in the same area”.
live in peace
Since Chualluma began to transform, the residents have committed to making this neighborhood a true tourist and cultural attraction in La Paz, and this has also improved their coexistence.
“When you visit an unknown place, you don’t know what you’re going to find, that’s why we hire a tour guide, but along the way we meet very friendly people, they tell us ‘why don’t you go and take a picture in this mural’, ‘there they have a better view’, ‘go this way’, the treatment is very cordial and you can also see the spectacular views of La Paz”, he tells the VOA Malité Schmitter, a tourist who came from eastern Bolivia.
Chualluma, where some 400 families live, has also become an inspiration for other surrounding neighborhoods. The neighbors want to leave behind the idea that they are dangerous areas and rather promote them as tourist places that tell their stories.
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