La Paz's Faceless Shoe PolishersLa Paz's Faceless Shoe Polishers

La Paz's Faceless Shoe Polishers

Among the peculiarities that can be observed in the bustling city of La Paz are the faceless waxworkers, discreet silhouettes sneaking into the cityscape.   

 Mostly children or teenagers, shoe-shiners protect their anonymity with a garment that hides a large part of their face (often a hood). Because in Bolivia this profession is very badly perceived and is synonymous with shame for the shoe-shine boy and his family, they use anonymity to protect themselves from discrimination and dishonor.  

For some years now, all the shoe shiners have formed an association to defend their rights. In addition, in order to improve their conditions, they publish a newspaper "El Hormigon Armado", a source of additional income for these people who are too often forgotten.  

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