9 Shots and a Dog Bite. Street Photography in Bolivia’s La Paz!

“There isn’t a modern rabies vaccine in La Paz – or in Bolivia for that matter!” were the words from our doctor, albeit in Spanish, after running around La Paz to every hospital, clinic, and doctor’s office we could find!

Unfortunately a dog bite had cramped our style and our plans, and we were in desperate search of a rabies vaccine. Bolivia has to have it – we thought. We never would have imagined that there could possibly be a country wide shortage, But there was, and there we were. In Bolivia with a desperate need for a rabies vaccination.

Bolivia does have a vaccine, but it’s a very old 1950s/1960’s regiment in which a daily shot is administered into your gut for 10 consecutive days with numerous side affects.  No thanks.  The CDC and WHO even recommend against it!  And we are not staying in Bolivia for the next 10 days to get this administered. We had to cut our 2-3 day street photography sessions down to a single day in between these visits and figuring everything out, but it was an adventure.

Fortunately, I was able to get some street photography in – which of course, was the whole purpose of the journey.  These 9 shots sum my day of shooting in La Paz.

La Paz has some stunning Spanish baroque architecture, mixed in with some more modern development, and some bland architecture over the last 60 years or so.  Some of the baroque buildings are being restored whereas unfortunately others are in great disrepair.  La Paz also has a really creepy “witch market”…. especially creepy and weird at night…. fires on the road, prayers, and yes dead baby llama’s and fetuses  hung upside down…from first impressions it seems like they are playing a devil’s game and this felt like a very unholy place to me.  The locals think differently, and unfortunately this trip, a conversation with the locals about these customs wasn’t in the cards.

We had dinner in a nice restaurant, and then high tailed it (aka, flew) to Lima, Peru, of which, has a first world rabies vaccine program.

Will be back with camera.

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