I visited the Colca Leaves Museum in La Paz, Bolivia. It was small, but interesting. The colca leaves allow more oxygen to flow to the lungs. They do not increase the lung capacity at all, however, people born at a higher altiude have a larger lung capacity. The mining and slave industry made chewing colca leaves manditory, as it was found that while it did not increase work performance, it did increase work tolerance. Miners would spend approximately 12% of their income on colca leaves, and I'm guessing that they didn't make the best wages to start off with; sad. Colca leaves were used for many products throughout the years- coca cola, toohaches, antisthetics, cocaine. The museum states that the USA makes up 5% of the population and consumes 50% of the cocaine produced in the world.
Some of the delicious things that I consumed:
Chicha Morada, a semi-sweet beverage made from purple corn (miez morada)
Granadilla, a delicious fruit that has a clearish sweet mucus with lots of soft seeds inside of it- I know it doesn't sound appetizing, but I love it!
Algarrobina, a cocktail made from the Algarrobo tree, which grows in Northern Peru (dry desert tree). It has a sweet cinnamon/cocoa like taste, and is very creamy, frothy, and yellow.
|Lima, old town|
|Bike ride break in Lima<><><><><>Cholitas wrestling in La Paz, Bolivia >>>>>>|
|Salt flats, outside of Uyuni, Bolivia|
|Park of love (signafied by a statue of a couple making out)|
|Salt Crystals from the salt flats|
|The adorable little shit that ate the beads off of my hair wrap (in about 1/2 second)|
|Llama fetus in witches' market, La Paz, Bolivia: to bury beneath your house for good luck|