10 Days in Oruro

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Bolivia, Countries | 0 comments

Oruro is a small city located at 3700 meters in the Cordillera of the Andes. The most popular thing in Oruro is the Carnival, which is one of the most famous in Bolivia. Unfortunately, we were there one month too early, so we couldn’t attend this very special event that lasts for four days. But we were still able to visit the city and enjoy the very welcoming Orureños, and also the Christmas celebrations. Here is what we did:

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View from Plaza 10 de Febrero

After our one-month “break” in Cochabamba, we decided to go back to the high mountains to see our new friend from La Paz whose family is from Oruro. First I have to say that the trip from Cocha to Oruro is terrific! The city is also very different because it is twice as small and twice as cold! I also found the people there more welcoming. Everyone would talk to us, asking how long we would stay in Oruro, if we liked it, from where we were coming from, etc.

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Street in downtown Oruro

We didn’t visit museums in Oruro, we just went to the church of the Virgen de Socavon, which is worth visiting. The statue of the Virgin Mary (beside the church) was not finished when we went there—it was missing the head—but the next day we met the sculptor of the statue imself, Rolando Emilio Rocha Medrano, totally by chance in the restaurant he owns, which is called the Suigerneris. He invited us to come with him to his workshop the next day to see the head, so we went! Here are the photos:

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From left to right: the head of the statue, the architect Radharani Navas, me, Bassel, the sculptor Rolando Emilio Rocha

I really enjoyed walking in the busy streets of Oruro, they have a huge market that starts at Bolivar and goes along 6 de Agostos until the bus station. In this market you can find everything, including other covered markets. There was also another market that runs for only one month (during Christmas), which is located between Adolph Mier Street and Junin Street, and starts two or three blocks before the Socavon church.

The center of the city (Plaza 10 de Febrero) was also very busy due to the Christmas festivities and nativity scenes.

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Nativity scene in Plaza 10 de Febrero

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