NewsLatin AmericaBolivia: Major Andean religious festival returns to the streets

Bolivia: Major Andean religious festival returns to the streets

The joy, the manifestations of faith and the colorfulness of thousands of dancers returned on Saturday to the streets of the city of La Paz, to celebrate the largest Andean religious festival in Bolivia, which was suspended for the last two years due to the pandemic.

The entrance of folkloric dances in honor of the Lord Jesus of the Great Power was premiering its title of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity granted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

I am returning… to dance for the Tatita (Lord Jesus of Great Power). Thank you for everything you have given me, Carlos Gonzales, a 38-year-old dancer who works as an appliance salesman, told The Associated Press.

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Gonzales danced La morenada, a typical dance born in the highlands that was inspired by the slave trade in the Andean region during colonial times and whose influence has spread to Peru, Chile and Argentina in recent decades.

It is the relief of many people. To have emerged from this pandemic that has taken away many friends? It is a joy and an emotion,” said Nancy Aguilar, a spectator.

This year, to avoid COVID-19 infections, the more than 60,000 dancers from 73 fraternities and 4,000 musicians were required to be vaccinated against the disease. It was also urged to continue using masks as a precaution.

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We deserve this celebration, much more in homage to our Lord who protected us and allowed us to be alive”, said Mayor Iván Arias to the local media.

The religious festivity moves the economy of many artisans, musicians, vendors, among others. Over the years it has become a cultural icon of the city, but also a party that mixes religious codes and elements of social climbing. The fraternities show through the dance the economic power of an emerging bourgeoisie with a mestizo face, according to specialists.

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The festivity takes place in the midst of an increase in the contagion of the coronavirus, which has caused more than 21,000 deaths in the Andean country, according to authorities.



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