Bolivia as seen by … Glenda

9 November 2021


They live in La Paz and they all have one thing in common: they carry Bolivia in their hearts. In this series of portraits, Thaki Voyage invites you to meet Bolivians, both born and bred, who travel in their own country and share with us their vision, their treasures and a few secrets.

Who are you, Glenda? What is your relationship with Bolivia?

My name is Glenda Yañez, I was born in La Paz and I’m a fashion designer and artist. I work in particular on Chola Paceña clothing (a typical women’s style from La Paz), which can be considered haute couture because they are handmade and made to measure.

What's your favourite thing about Bolivia?

That’s an impossible question to answer! I love my country for its diversity, not only cultural, but also for all the landscapes to discover: the Salar d’Uyuni, Samaipata, the Yungas and its majestic mountains like Illimani or Illampu…
But for me, the best thing about Bolivia is its people: I consider us a very rare, humble and quiet people. We welcome foreigners with generosity, precisely so that they can discover our country, our gastronomy, our folklore…

What's your favourite object from Bolivia?

The costumes, of course! What I love most here, especially in La Paz, is that we have a living culture. For example, we still use the traditional costumes of our ancestors, especially for festivals like the Gran Poder, which takes place every year in June.

Et ton endroit préféré pour recharger tes batteries à La Paz, ou ailleurs ?

Quand je pars en weekend, j’aime bien enmener mes enfants dans la montagne, ou aller faire un tour sur le lac Titicaca, ou encore à Coroico ou le climat est très agréable. J’aime beaucoup me retrouver à la campagne, où on conserve encore une certaine diversité agricole.

What do you like about Bolivian cuisine?

First of all, I’d say that Bolivian gastronomy is quite varied, between the valleys, the Altiplano, the Oriente… and the best thing about it is that it features products that have been used for thousands of years, such as quinoa, oca (a variety of tuber, see photo), all sorts of vegetables and an incredible variety of potatoes and ways of preserving them (kaya, chuño, tunta…)!

Finally: a book, music album or artist to recommend to future travellers?

In terms of books, I could recommend a great classic written by Antonio Diaz Villamil: “La niña de mis ojos”. This novel tells the story of Bolivian society through the life of a young mixed-race woman confronted with class conflict.
(Domy), the daughter of mixed-race parents (Don Ciriaco and Doña Saturnina) who raised her as the “daughter of their eyes” and gave her a life of high society, which collapses when Domy leaves school and goes to live with them, suffering their customs and way of life, which torments her and she lives in conflict, looking for direction in her life.
In terms of folk music, I would recommend the La Paz group Kala Marka (“city of stones” in Aymara) and Los Kjarkas, from Cochabamba.