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In his series ‘Menonos’, photographerJordi Ruiz Cirera documents life and the inner struggles lived in the Mennonite communities in Eastern Bolivia. Mennonites are christian anabaptists who arrived during the fifties from Canada, Mexico or Belize, hoping to find religious freedom and to be able to preserve their lifestyle. Today more than fifty thousand Mennonites in Bolivia. It’s difficult to know the exact number since Menenos, as they are called in Bolivia, live here unregistered or with foreign passports. They live as their German ancestors once did without electricity, telephones or cars and are extremely isolated from the local community. However, the pressure of the surrounding society is creating difficulties for them to survive. 

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia by night

"When the night comes, the starry sky reflects on its surface like in a mirror, and you have the feeling of being in space."

In the south of the desert plains of the Altiplano, Bolivia at an altitude of 3,650 m above sea level, lies a dried-up salt lake Salar de Uyuni.Its area is 10,582 km ², this is the largest salt marsh in the world. In the rainy season is covered with a thin layer of saline water and turns into a huge mirror.

In the south of the desert plains of the Altiplano, Bolivia at an altitude of 3,650 m above sea level, lies a dried-up salt lake Salar de Uyuni.Its area is 10,582 km ², this is the largest salt marsh in the world. In the rainy season is covered with a thin layer of saline water and turns into a huge mirror.

Bolivian Protest
Members of indigenous communities from Mallku Kota region, clash with police officers during a protest in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, June 7, 2012. Indigenous protested against mining operations on their lands by the Canadian mining company South American Silver Corp. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Bolivian Protest

Members of indigenous communities from Mallku Kota region, clash with police officers during a protest in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, June 7, 2012. Indigenous protested against mining operations on their lands by the Canadian mining company South American Silver Corp. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)




Laguna Colorada

This eerie lake in Bolivia has blood red water and is dotted with strange white islands made of borax, the same stuff used in many detergents.
 
The color of the water comes from tinted sediment and a large amount of red algae, which thrive here. Even more striking, pink flamingos often wade in its waters, adding to the contrasts of this otherworldly landscape.

Photo: Noemi Galera/Flickr
 

Andean Flamingos (Phoenicopterus andinus), Lag...

Laguna Colorada

This eerie lake in Bolivia has blood red water and is dotted with strange white islands made of borax, the same stuff used in many detergents.
 
The color of the water comes from tinted sediment and a large amount of red algae, which thrive here. Even more striking, pink flamingos often wade in its waters, adding to the contrasts of this otherworldly landscape.
Photo: Noemi Galera/Flickr
 
Carnival 2012 - A member of from the Diablada Urus group, dressed as an angel, during the Carnival parade in Oruro, some 200 km (124 miles) south of La Paz, on February 18, 2012. Partying and religion mingle in Bolivia’s Carnival celebration in Oruro, a mining and commercial city of more than 200,000 people. (Reuters/David Mercado)

Carnival 2012 - A member of from the Diablada Urus group, dressed as an angel, during the Carnival parade in Oruro, some 200 km (124 miles) south of La Paz, on February 18, 2012. Partying and religion mingle in Bolivia’s Carnival celebration in Oruro, a mining and commercial city of more than 200,000 people. (Reuters/David Mercado)

Bolivian Building Color - Manuel Romaris

Bolivian Building Color - Manuel Romaris

Street Vendor, La Paz, Bolivia — Photographer Manuel Romaris

Street Vendor, La Paz, Bolivia — Photographer Manuel Romaris

Aymara women walk in Jesus de Machaca, Bolivia.

Aymara women walk in Jesus de Machaca, Bolivia.

Bolivian Men protesting against a construction of a highway - Reuter/David Mercado
Related articles
Under pressure, Bolivian president scraps highway plan (cnn.com)
Native protests in Bolivia violently repressed by police (boingboing.net)

Bolivian Men protesting against a construction of a highway - Reuter/David Mercado

BOLIVIA -
Indigenous people of Bolivia gather to protest against highway being built through their lands.
Reuter/Gaston Brito

BOLIVIA -

Indigenous people of Bolivia gather to protest against highway being built through their lands.

Reuter/Gaston Brito

BOLIVIANS PROTEST
Protest planned for Bolivia’s indigenous people against construction of a highway through their protected reserve. 
BETA / AP / Dolores Ochoa

A Bolivian aymara woman praying
BOLIVIANS PROTEST

Protest planned for Bolivia’s indigenous people against construction of a highway through their protected reserve. 

BETA / AP / Dolores Ochoa

THE WILD BUNCH - also “hole in the wall gang”
 
…this picture of a couple of members of the “Wild Bunch”. Is it just me, or were criminals more respectable back in the day? Pictured above are Harry Longabaugh (A.K.A. the “Sundance Kid”) and Etta Place.
Etta Place disappeared from history in the early 1900′s. The big question, of course, is whether Butch Cassidy and Longabaugh were in fact killed in Bolivia in 1908. Some speculate they faked their deaths in order to live out the rest of their lives in peace and quite.   (FROM OLD PICTURE OF THE DAY)

Butch Cassidy as part of the Wild Bunch at For...
THE WILD BUNCH - also “hole in the wall gang”

 

…this picture of a couple of members of the “Wild Bunch”. Is it just me, or were criminals more respectable back in the day? Pictured above are Harry Longabaugh (A.K.A. the “Sundance Kid”) and Etta Place.

Etta Place disappeared from history in the early 1900′s. The big question, of course, is whether Butch Cassidy and Longabaugh were in fact killed in Bolivia in 1908. Some speculate they faked their deaths in order to live out the rest of their lives in peace and quite.   (FROM OLD PICTURE OF THE DAY)

Salar de Uyun, Bolivia
salt flats during the rainy season … “the border between Heaven and Earth.”

Salar de Uyun, Bolivia

salt flats during the rainy season … “the border between Heaven and Earth.”
Women of a Bolivian village hold vigile outside a mine cave-in to see which of them may be widowed or lost a son, brother, child.

Women of a Bolivian village hold vigile outside a mine cave-in to see which of them may be widowed or lost a son, brother, child.