Postcards from Home – 20 – Pankkara Larrea

“In Latin America, we kiss when we say hello, and I haven’t said hello to anyone with a kiss in three months”

Pankkara Larrea is a wedding and family photographer who lives with her husband and two Yorkshire terriers in Bolivia. She recorded her postcard on 2 July. 

Pankkara revels in the joy and love that comes with photographing big life events so the shift to lockdown, curtailing of work, and sudden sharing of her home workspace, was significant.

In this postcard she talks about how her vigorous pace of creative activity hasn’t let up and why she believes there’s no going back to an old normal. 

You can access Pankkara’s work via the following links:

Context

Bolivia was one of the first countries to enact a strict lockdown on 17 March and for a while it seemed to work. 

Scientists considered that the virus did not proliferate as widely due to the high Andean altitude that protected some areas like La Paz.

The political stand-off following the removal of President Evo Morales has contributed to a disjointed response to the pandemic. Daily-wage workers (up to 60% of the workforce) gave up waiting for, or couldn’t access, stipends from the government and soon broke quarantine to put food on the table.

By late April the infection rate began to climb and by July, the highest numbers of new cases were being recorded.  Bolivia’s largest city, Santa Cruz, located in the western tropical lowlands, has the highest number of cases and deaths. As of 3 July, there are 35,528 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,271 recorded deaths. 

Despite this, Bolivia moved to a ‘flexible quarantine’ from 1 June with markets soon bustling. Increased movement combined with under provision in healthcare and a lack of testing means that the country, like its neighbours, is heading into darker times. 

MsCrow Written by:

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