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Saltenas & Diablada

Hi all,

My name is Ivan and I am very much looking forward to our time together in Bolivia! Here is my pick of a common dish and song found in Bolivia.

Saltenas are a common dish throughout the country, and are essentially baked empanadas. Inside, they contain various different things all ranging from beef and chicken with peas, eggs, olives, raisins, and potatoes. The dish is found all over Bolivia and different regions make them differently. In La Paz, especially, vendors begin selling them very early in the morning. I am interested in trying saltenas just because of how versatile they are with many possible combinations.

The song I chose is Diablada, which can be listened to here. I chose this song because of it’s meaning. Diablada is similar to the word diablo in Spanish which means devil. This song is performed during Carnaval de Oruro in the town of Oruro which is known as a mining city. The miners believe that the devil is inside the mines, and is typically referred to as the “Tio”. During Carnaval, the miners dance, sing, and make sacrifices to the Tio, sometimes killing a llama and throwing its blood all over the mine entrance. They believe that they must keep the Tio happy or else they will die inside the mines.

I am looking forward to reading all the other dishes and music you share and also connecting before we leave for our trip.

Take care,

Ivan