A Closer Look

Up until last night I was planning on writing a blog post that focused on the differences of diversity I see here in La Paz versus what I see at home in the United States every day. I had planned on mentioning how it is such an odd feeling seeing so many people of the same color, and very few people of other ethnicities in La Paz. But as it turns out I just was not looking in the correct places. Last night myself and a few classmates visited an Asian restaurant for dinner, and my opinion began to turn around. Here we were walking around on a cold night in Sopocachi, and we ducked into the humble Asian restaurant at the bottom of a flight of stairs that led underground. The only other people in the restaurant were six Chinese men, all of whom looked upon our group of friends (all white) in a similar way, I think, to how we looked upon them. In the restaurant the waiters were all Bolivian, and the only two groups in the restaurant were chatting in English and Chinese.

My small, seemingly unimportant at first, experience in the restaurant last night showed me that (within reason) diversity is present wherever you are, sometimes you just have to look a little harder. I do not know for certain what the statuses of race relations and disagreements are like in La Paz, but if I had to comment at the moment I would say that although the ethnic diversity in La Paz is not so visible, people seem to get along very, very well here no matter what. That makes me very happy for the people here. La Paz and the country of Bolivia indeed have their problems as does any other place, but they seem to have laid aside one problem that so many other cultures find so much difficulty with. Again, my observations may indeed be incorrect, but if the city of La Paz has been able to (at least somewhat) overcome the problem of race disagreement, then I feel that in time, there are few other social issues that the country will not be able to conquer.

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