The beautiful white city of Sucre, one of Bolivia's capitals, kept us entertained for far longer than we had anticipated. Between the food, protests and celebrations we had a very full few days. I think we had spent 3 days in Sucre enjoying the festivities before we stepped foot inside a church or museum.
We had conveniently timed our visit, by no planning on our part, to coincide with the huge 25th of May celebration. The 25th of May is important in Bolivia because it is the day that the first cry for independence from Spain was made. As Sucre was the epicenter of the rebellion from Spain in all of South America, they dedicated the entire month to celebrations! We had been told that there are at least 300 celebrations in Bolivia each year and we got to experience 5 of them in Sucre. In the evening we spent a whopping $4 each and got a box seat at the theater for an evening of traditional dancing. Other days there were free music festivals in the various plazas, more folkloric dancing in the main square, military bands playing while people danced in the street, and of course the big parade, in which we thought there were more participants than observers. The vice-president even showed up to admire the spectacle.
To add to the chaos, there were also almost daily protests with marching supporters, chants, and firecrackers. From what we could gather the teachers and nurses were protesting so their pensions would not be cut. This was happening all over Bolivia and made some transportation difficult as they blockaded the streets for days on end.
And of course we can not forget to mention the food. We found our way to the central mercado for lunch and dinner most days. They meals were huge, delicious and cheap. For a plate laden down with food we paid less than $2 USD. And we also had our fill of fresh fruit, something lacking in our diet through most of the trip.