With chinstraps and covid tests, a folkloric parade is held in Bolivia

El Alto (Bolivia), Jul 16 (EFE) .- A parade of folk dances in honor of the Virgen del Carmen took this Friday the streets of the Bolivian city of El Alto, in the middle of conducting tests for covid-19 a dancers, the use of masks and the restriction of the sale of alcoholic beverages.

It is the first “mini” entry or folk parade that has been held since the covid-19 pandemic arrived in Bolivia in March of last year and that has the endorsement of the mayor of that city, Eva Copa.

This parade is held in honor of the Virgin of Carmen, the “patron” of La Paz, a region that this Friday commemorates the 212 years of her libertarian deed against the Spanish crown.

The local authorities gave permission for a dozen fraternities to participate in this parade and each one has up to 50 dancers, since usually this entrance is massive with hundreds of dancers.

The mayor Copa ordered a “dry law” that prohibits the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages for this day, also established as a requirement the presentation of the vaccination certificate and the performance of nasal antigen tests to the musicians and dancers before participating in the entry.


The day began with a mass in the Santa María de Los Ángeles parish in El Alto, a city adjacent to La Paz, and then a procession took place carrying the image of the Virgen del Carmen.

The streets where the parade was going to pass in the July 16 area were closed and fumigated, while people gathered to watch the dancers pass by, since this Friday is a holiday in the region.

Many of the dancers, wearing their colorful folk costumes, lined up at the authorized points to take the nasal antigen test.

After noon, the fraternities began to make their way through the streets using chinstraps or transparent masks to avoid the spread of covid-19.

On this occasion, dances such as the morenada, the kullawada, the moseñada, the caporales and the tinku were performed, showing in many cases their colorful costumes, masks and jewels.

“Despite the pandemic, we continue with the traditions of Bolivia, dancing and taking care of ourselves,” Lotrin Masias, one of the dancers from moseñada, told Efe.

He added that he is a little “afraid” of participating in the middle of a pandemic, but that he has taken all the necessary measures to avoid contagion.

In the same way, Javier Arias, another of the dancers, told Efe that these parties also help to reactivate the economic movement and that in turn all biosafety measures are taken.

Despite all the measures taken, several of the people who went to observe the dancers’ passage did not wear a mask and an agglomeration was generated.

After the ten fraternities danced with great emotion, the people who went to see the parade were evicted from the place and began to spray the streets again.

Bolivia is experiencing the third wave of covid-19 that is in full de-escalation, although the authorities of the Government of Luis Arce warned of a possible fourth wave.

The country accumulates 17,375 deaths and 459,579 cases of covid-19, from the first cases detected in March 2020 and vaccination with the first dose reached 2,528,672 people and with the second 866,647, according to data from the Ministry of Health.


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