My greatest debt is to the vecinos of Rosas Pampa and to the members of
the Executive Committee of the Federation of Street Traders of the city
of El Alto, who were so kind to me and so willing to share their lives with
me. I am particularly grateful to Doña Rosalia, Vero, Doña Juana, Bertha,
Doña Encarna, Doña Vicky, and Silvia for their friendship, forbearance,
and stories. They appear in these pages under pseudonyms. I would also
like to thank Don Ruben, Don Linu, Don Agustín, and Cleto; and Darío,
Jhonny, Luigi, Eva, Osvi, Nena, and Flora for cheering me up on so many
occasions and accompanying me down my street past the rather ferocious
dog that lived opposite. All of the leaders of the Federation of Street
Traders were very generous with their time and inspirational in their
struggle. I cannot mention them all by name, but I am especially indebted
to Don Braulio Rocha Tapia, Doña Antonia Narvaez, Don Jorge Mamani,
and Don Roberto Mancilla. There are many other general secretaries of
di√erent associations who took time to explain their association’s con-
cerns to me and who welcomed me to meetings, parades, and demonstra-
tions, and I am very grateful to them all. Edgar Ramos has been enor-
mously helpful, and my sociology students at the Universidad Pública de
El Alto were similarly generous with their opinions and inspirational in
their political commitment.
Ineke Dibbits and the women of Grupo Solidaridad introduced me to
Rosas Pampa in the first place. Others in Bolivia who have helped and
taught me over the years include Silvia Rivera, Don Juan de Dios Yapita,
Don Vitaliano Huanca, Ricardo Calla, Alison Spedding, Cristina Bubba,
Felix Patzi, Bruno Rojas, Esteban Ticona, and Luis Tapia, and various ngo
workers and politicians who consented to be interviewed for di√erent
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