January 2012

The “joy makers” of Cochabamba

You see them everywhere in Cochabamba; Artists trying to make a living by bringing joy into other people’s lives. Some work as buskers and jugglers in the streets, others as magicians in the cafés, some play music and others bring us delightful colours on walls and canvas.

By: Tanja Andersen
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Copenhagen - Denmark

With the stick trick
Photo: Tanja Andersen

But who are they? Where do they come from? And is it actually an affordable job to make other people smile?

In this and the coming issues of Cocha- Banner you will get to meet some of the “joy makers” of Cochabamba. This time, we have met Leandro, who works as a juggler in the streets of Cochabamba.

Leandro Abel Moulia

Leandro Abel Moulia is a traveller by heart. He was born in Argentina 29 years ago and has since been travelling all around South America juggling and playing music in the streets. He normally works three months in every country he visits, but he keeps coming back to Cochabamba on a regular basis because the most important human being of his life is living here with her mother; his 3-year old daughter, Luna.

When Leandro is in his home country, Argentina, he joins a circus group that travels around the country. He also works as a volunteer musician at a hospital for mentally disabled kids and as a private music teacher.

In Cochabamba, you will often see Leandro throwing sticks in the air with a huge and highly contagious smile at the streets near the stadium. When it gets dark, he moves to Avenue America where he replaces the sticks with fire torches.

Being a juggler is the perfect job for Leandro; he can work whenever and wherever he wants, he gets to be outside in the sunshine, and he does not have a boss!


Working near the Stadium
Photo: Tanja Andersen

But how much does a street

juggler actually earn? Well, that is unfortunately a street secret, but it is enough to live an adventurous life and to support a child as well, says Leandro with one of those killer-grins that leaves you smiling all day.

Meet Leandro here:

Near the Stadium in daytime and on Plaza 14 de Noviembre on Avenue America in the evening.

The Chaco War Band

Tradition says that with this band, led by Sergeant Ismael Crespo, a guerrilla
triumphantly entered the city of La Paz in January 1825. When created
the Republic (August 1825), this small band passed to form part of the 1st
Battalion of Infantry.

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