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La Paz

One of the many colourful markets in La Paz.  The Cholas wearing their distinctive bowler hats, which were sent to Bolivia in the 19th century for  English workers but were too small, and the women from the indigenous Aymaras adopted them.  The Cholitas wear their traditional skirts called polleras, with layers of petticoats and very colourful shawls.  

La Paz

Catholic missionaries accompanied the Spanish conquistadors and attempted to convert the indigenous peoples. One of the many Churches, this one, in Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca is an example.  Before Christian use, it was the site of an Inca Temple of the Sun, from where worshippers sailed to the sacred island of the Sun and the Moon. Today both beliefs, especially among the indigenous people, are still practised and many fiestas and processions are held regularly around the country.